Preventing infection after contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac

To prevent infection of a poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash:

  • Try not to scratch the rash. Put mittens or cotton socks on infants' hands to help prevent them from scratching skin and opening blisters.
  • Cut fingernails short to minimize the possibility of opening the skin and spreading bacteria.
  • Use a mild soap to clean the skin.

Last Updated: September 17, 2009

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