Posts for tag: Poison Ivy

By Center for Dermatology & Skin Care
October 09, 2020
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Rash   Poison Ivy   Sumac   Oak   Itchy Skin  
ItchingSome many conditions and problems could lead to itchy skin; however, if you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, sumac, or oak you must be able to recognize the symptoms. It’s possible that you came into contact with poison ivy or any of these plants while on your typical walk or you may not even realize that the plants are hanging in your garden. If you do come into contact with poison ivy, sumac and oak here are what you should know.

You’re Allergic to the Oil from these Plants

Poison ivy secretes an oil known as urushiol. When a person comes in contact with the oils from these plants this causes an allergic reaction. You may notice a rash that forms in a straight line (as if you brushed against a poison ivy leaf). If you suspect that you’ve come into contact with poison ivy, sumac, or oak, it’s important to wash your clothes immediately and to take a shower to prevent the oils from spreading further.

You Can Usually Treat It Yourself

While the rash can be unpleasant, symptoms should go away within 2-3 weeks. Since the rash can be quite itchy and uncomfortable, here are some ways to ease your symptoms:
  • Take cool, oatmeal baths to alleviate inflammation and itching
  • Apply calamine lotions to the skin to temporarily alleviate itching
  • Steroid creams (aka: cortisone cream) may also alleviate redness and inflammation
  • Apply cold compresses to the area when symptoms flare-up
  • Whatever you do, do not scratch your rash (this can lead to an infection)
Severe Symptoms Warrant a Doctor’s Visit

Some people have severe allergic reactions when they come into contact with poison ivy, sumac, or oak. You must call your dermatologist as soon as possible if:
  • Pus develops on the rash
  • You also have a fever over 100 F
  • You experience severe itching
  • The rash keeps spreading
  • You aren’t sure whether the rash is caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac
  • The rash spreads to the mouth or the eyes
  • Symptoms don’t improve within a week
From poison ivy rashes to psoriasis, a dermatologist can treat a wide range of skin conditions and provide you with the treatment you need. If you have concerns about symptoms you are experiencing, call your dermatologist right away.
By Center for Dermatology & Skin Care
July 12, 2019
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Poison Ivy  

Have you heard of Toxicodendron radicans? No? Well, you have likely heard of their colloquial name—poison ivy. Sporting leaves filled with Urushiol, an oily resin that can cause a painful rash when in contact with human skin, poison ivy can cause a number of painfully uncomfortable symptoms. 

Read on to learn the symptoms of poison ivy exposure, how to treat its symptoms, and whether those symptoms warrant a trip to your local dermatologist.

Rash Symptoms

Poison ivy rashes often show up right after exposure to the plant leaves, although they do sometimes spring up a couple days afterward, as well. Symptoms of the rash include:

  • Red streaks and patches on the skin
  • The emergence of hives, blisters, and red bumps
  • General swelling
  • Acute itching

Treatment Options

Once you have discovered the rash, there are some initial steps that you can take to relieve your symptoms. These include:

  • Immediately run cool water over your skin at the first sight of rash
  • Use over-the-counter cortisone and calamine creams to relieve itching
  • Take an oral antihistamine (e.g. Benadry) to reduce itching and inflammation

After 1 to 3 weeks, the rash should dissipate on its own, without the requirement for medical care. However, there are some scenarios in which you should seek out the attention of your local dermatologist. For instance, call a doctor if you experience:

  • Pus emitting from the rash
  • A general spreading of the rash
  • A failure of the rash to clear up after a couple weeks

In other scenarios, emergency care may prove necessary. Call 911 if you experience:

  • Trouble breathing or a swelling of the throat
  • Extreme swelling, especially around the eyes
  • A spreading of the rash to the mouth, eyes, or genitals

Concerned? Give Call Your Local Dermatologist

Are you experiencing overly distressing symptoms of poison ivy exposure or a rash that just won’t go away? If so, contact your dermatologist and find relief. 



Contact Us

Center for Dermatology & Skin Care

(304) 766-9136
607 Chestnut St Charleston, WV 25309