Rashes are a common cause of walk-in clinic visits and can have many potential causes. During warm weather, when people spend more time outdoors hiking and camping, some of the most common causes of rashes include poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Within 3 days of touching any of these plants, it’s possible to develop an itchy and uncomfortable rash that may be accompanied by swelling and blisters.
To help avoid an unwanted encounter with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, it’s essential to know what these plants look like. Poison ivy has green, pointed leaves with smooth edges that grow in groups of 3 on a shrub or vine. Poison oak also grows as a shrub or vine and has leaves that grow in groups of 3, but their edges are similar in shape to oak tree leaves. Finally, poison sumac tends to grow in boggy, marshy areas as a tall shrub or small tree. The leaf-stems of this plant has 7 to 13 leaves that are green and may have dark spots.