Few things can ruin a camping trip like an encounter with a poisonous plant. As you take in Tennessee’s great outdoors this summer, be on the lookout for the ones most likely to cause painful problems. The main culprits – poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac – share several characteristics. The oil in these plants, called urushiol, is what causes a reaction when you touch it. The oil typically causes itching, blisters, rash and inflammation between 12 and 72 hours after contact. What to Do if You’ve Touched a Poisonous Plant If you think you’ve touched a poisonous plant, wash the area with soapy water as soon as possible. Oil can remain on some surfaces for up to five years, so remember to clean your clothes, tools and anything else that may have come in contact with the plant. You can soothe the symptoms with antihistamines, steroid creams and home remedies like oatmeal baths and cold compresses. For severe cases, particularly those that involve trouble breathing, seek medical care immediately. Not everyone who touches …
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