About Poison Ivy
What is it?
Poison ivy is a common plant from the Toxicodendron species of plants. If you’ve ever had poison ivy, you know the symptoms, which can include continuous itching, skin irritation, and redness and inflammation. Most people know they shouldn’t scratch the rash, but the incessant itching makes it difficult to stop. Although scratching doesn’t cause the rash to spread, it can prolong the symptoms, and delay healing. and even cause a secondary infection.
What causes it?
Coming into contact with poison ivy – as well as its relatives poison oak or poison sumac – results is a common rash called Toxicodendron dermatitis, which is caused by an oil in the plant. Even though the rash itself isn’t contagious, you can get poison ivy from touching anything else that has touched the plant, such as a toy, pet, or clothing.
Over-the-counter medications are usually enough to contain and relieve the itching and irritation caused by poison ivy, including calamine lotion, antihistamines (e.g., Benadryl), cool showers, a baking soda/water mixture for the skin, or OTC topical corticosteroids. Poison ivy symptoms usually run their course in about 2-3 weeks. although we recommend seeing a dermatologist before then. However, if the rash is located near your mouth, throat, eyes, or groin, we suggest seeing a dermatologist as soon as possible, as you may need a prescription oral corticosteroid or even an injection.
Our approach & expertise
We understand how uncomfortable poison ivy can be, as the incessant itching can make it hard to concentrate on anything else. As your neighborhood skin experts, our staff of dermatologic specialists has the experience and knowledge to help you deal with this troublesome condition. Contact an office today if you notice symptoms of poison ivy so that we can help you manage this troublesome condition.