Allergy: Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
- Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Overview
- Causes of Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Rash
- Symptoms and Signs of Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Rash
- When to Seek Medical Care
- Exams and Tests
- Treatment of Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Rash
- Self-Care at Home
- Medical Treatment
- For More Information
- Read more on Allergy: Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac from Healthwise
- Allergy: Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Topic Guide
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 8/19/2014
Zoe Diana Draelos, MD, PA
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