By Shirin Rajaee

RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — A Rancho Cordova community is itching for answers after several neighbors reported getting rashes and what appears to be a bizarre allergic reaction.

Many of the incidents happened last weekend at a time when several fires broke out nearby. That made many people wonder if the smoke in the air caused the complaints on the skin.

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“My skin was getting tight and swollen and I was constantly itching my neck,” said Jenni Matamoros.

She took to Facebook with a photo showing the shocking skin rash she got over the weekend just hours after returning home from a BBQ. She was at home watching a movie with her husband with the windows open when she started to feel uncomfortable.

“I just kept itching my chest and I felt really hot. Nothing had been different, so I started asking could it be something in the air with the fires or this weird smell in the area, that’s when I did the post. I said it can’t be something I ate because I hadn’t eaten in hours. So I wondered if anyone else in the area was feeling the same thing? or having these same reactions, and that’s when I was completely overwhelmed,” she said.

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Overwhelmed by the dozens of comments she got including several people who live near her Rancho Cordova neighborhood of Stonecreek who shared photos with similar reactions.

“I was burning itching scratching, blisters all over my face, my neck,” said Tamara Steinhoff.

Steinhoff said she went for a walk Friday and when she came back to work– she noticed something terribly wrong.

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“All of a sudden I started burning, feeling like I was itching, my throat was starting to close, felt like I couldn’t breathe,” said Steinhoff.

With grass fires popping up in that area over the last few weeks many wondered if poison oak could be a cause.

“Poison oak can travel through the air, the allergins are so strong that they can create an allergic response, but everyone has a different sensitivity,” said Dermatologist Dr. Emmanuel Maverakis. Dr. Maverakis says poison oak reactions typically happen 24-48 hours after exposure.

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“Poison oak is highly immunogenic so someone with a very mild amount of exposure can get an eruption.

The farther you are from the fire, the exposure will be much less” he said.

Maverakis adds, “I don’t think it’s going to cause a widespread eruption with many patients but absolutely if someone is close to the fire if someone is in contact with poison oak it’s absolutely a possibility.”

But firefighting crews have not been affected, said Metro Fire Cpt. Chris Vestal.

“None of our firefighters are experiencing the symptoms that these neighbors have felt,” he said.

Yet Steinhoff’s doctor gave her medication.

“He gave me medication, and in parenthesis, it says ‘reaction to poison oak,'” she said.

Now a mysterious rash of rashes is making many question what’s in the air.

“I thought I was the only one, and I was kind of glad to see there were other people so we can see what it was, so it’s not just a fluke,” said Steinhoff.

While the exact cause of these rashes is still not determined, Dr. Maverakis says sun exposure could also be a factor. He says the best defense if you notice any skin irritation is to wash it off quickly, apply a cold compress, avoid additional sun exposure, and speak to a dermatologist.

Shirin Rajaee

Comments (27)
  1. Helen Good says:

    Maybe the microscopic mites running from the fire. The same mites that lived on woodchips in lake forest. It takes a 50,000 power microscope to detect them.

  2. Saw this on Drudge. Left for for more real California news.

  3. Maybe from chemicals sprayed on forests every year. They do it to Oregon forests.

    1. Stehr Va says:

      WHAT! You mean the land of organic and everything cancerous is banned sprays chemicals on the forests. You know it is that pesky liberal stance of do as I say not as I do.

  4. Smoke from burning poison oak can be a real problem

  5. snailmailtrucker says:

    Remedy = #WalkAway !

  6. Bed bugs from all of the illegals?

  7. John Mason says:

    Get Mulder and Scully on this one.

  8. Nita Hiltner says:

    The military is ionizing he atmosphere and this causes fires and worse fires.

  9. chemtrails = pesticide toxins – monsanto glyphosate = skin rash = pesticide detox

  10. Poison Oak folks. I can’t tell you just how many times over the last 3 decades fighting fires I’ve had this occur.
    Go to the doctor, there’s a cream that will clear it right up. (Triamcinolone Acetonide cream)
    I didn’t even have to read the article, the pic is a dead giveaway.

  11. McGehee says:

    It finally happened — people are getting allergic to living in California.

  12. Randy Laxton says:

    It might be from the burning of Giant Hogweed plants. The sap is very toxic and if the particulate get into the smoke then it might cause skin rashes and burns. I think someone of more expertise should look at that possibility .

  13. Pat Rathke says:

    Poison Oak from smoke. I got it when I was 11 in the Calistoga area when someone was burning it miles away. It got into my lungs and consumed about 60% of my skin. I was swimming at the time. I even had it up inside a personal area. After treating it normally I was sent to a dermatologist in Oakland, CA where I underwent ultra-violet light treatment, cortisone shots as well as cortisone cream. I had to bathe using a home made cloth sack with oatmeal inside that had been cooked. I got it once again at age 24, went to a dermatologist in my home town of Santa Rosa, explained how bad I got it and he gave me a shot. Two days later I was back because my eyes were swollen shut and my arms and chest were swollen. It took 3 times the dosage and average person would take and two weeks to get rid of it. I suggest if you have this rash you immediately seek treatment from a dermatologist and not your normal gp.

  14. Wash affected skin areas with Fels-Naptha soap… cuts the oils very well…..and, yes, it is Poison Oak.

  15. jayesouthworth says:

    It’s from poison oak exposure from the fire. Get some Gold Bond cream, it helps with the itching and rash.

  16. Fred Stevens says:

    Obviously it’s Trump’s fault.

  17. Burning poison oak will also damage your lungs in some cases. Invest in a breathing mask or a bandana.

  18. People say there is a RACE problem. People say this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY and ONLY into White countries.

    People say the only solution to the RACE problem is if ALL and ONLY White countries “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-Whites.

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against White people, Anti-Whites agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  19. Oh yea forest fires caused this reaction lolz….typical BS fake news from main stream media,,more like what was mixed in with the chemtrail solution that caused this reaction on the citizens,,i guess they’re lucky the CIA didnt unleash the morgellons virus in this area..the CIA loves to test out new bioweapons via chemtrails nowadays..

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