ABC Medical Center > Poison ivy rash

What is Poison ivy rash?

13:02 - 3 November , 2023


It refers to an allergic reaction from contact with an oil called urushiol found in the leaves, stems, and roots of poison ivy and other plants. As it is a very sticky resin, it is easy for it to adhere easily to the skin, clothing, or hair of animals.

Poison ivy rash can occur when you come into contact with the plant’s leaf, touch contaminated objects, or inhale poison ivy oils, which can irritate the nostrils or lungs.

Typically, the rash appears between the first 10 to 48 hours in a straight line due to the way it comes into contact with the skin.

It usually lasts between two and three weeks. The severity of the allergic reaction will depend on the degree and amount of contact with the resin.

Suppose you came into contact with poison ivy resin. In that case, it is essential that you immediately wash your skin, clothing, shoes, tools, or utensils used, as this will help reduce a possible rash and will prevent discomfort from increasing.

Remember that you are at higher risk for poison ivy rash if you:

  • Go to camps.
  • Work in the construction industry.
  • Practice hiking.
  • Perform gardening activities.
  • Work in agriculture.

Signs and symptoms Poison ivy rash

  • Blisters.
  • Rash in stripes or patches where the plant touched the skin.
  • Redness.
  • Fever.
  • Inflammation.
  • Extreme itching.
  • Breathing problems, if you inhale the plant.

The biggest complication that a poison ivy rash can cause is that if you scratch it, bacteria can infect the skin, causing the blisters to ooze pus. The rash may also affect the mouth, genitals, or vision.

If you inhale urushiol, a serious breathing problem can develop and cause severe inflammation of the lining of the lungs.

Diagnosis and treatment Poison ivy rash

In serious cases, you must see your doctor to analyze your symptoms and perform a physical examination of the rash; no other tests or examinations will be necessary.

Poison ivy treatment consists of:

  • Antihistamines.
  • Painkillers.
  • Antibiotics, in case of infection.
  • Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
  • Skin care at home (applications of soothing lotions or creams containing menthol, baths, and cold water compresses every 30 minutes, several times a day).

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.



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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.