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Allergy: Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac (cont.)

Symptoms and Signs of Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Rash

  • Exposure to poison ivy, oak, or sumac causes an itching rash that usually appears within 24-72 hours.
  • The rash usually starts as small red bumps and later develops blisters of variable size. The rash may crust or ooze.
  • The rash may be found anywhere on the body that has contacted the oil from the plant. It can have any shape or pattern but is often in straight lines or streaks across the skin.
  • Different skin areas can break out at different times, making it seem as if the rash is spreading.
  • Contrary to popular belief, leakage of blister fluid does not spread the rash. It is spread only by additional exposure to the oil, which often lingers on hands, clothing and shoes (which are often overlooked as carriers), or tools.
  • The rash caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac generally lasts about two to three weeks.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2015

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Plant Poisoning, Toxiccodendron »

Toxicodendron dermatitis is an allergic contact dermatitis (allergic phytodermatitis) that occurs from exposure to members of the plant genus Toxicodendron.

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