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

When to Seek Medical Care

Someone should see a health-care professional if he or she has the following conditions:

  • Large areas of rash causing significant discomfort
  • A rash on the mouth, genitals, or around the eyes
  • An area of the rash that becomes infected or drains pus
  • A great deal of swelling

People who are highly sensitive to these plants can get a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.

  • If someone has swelling of the face and throat or difficulty breathing, feel dizzy or faint, or lose consciousness, he or she may be having an anaphylactic reaction.
  • If someone has any of these symptoms, go immediately to a hospital emergency department.
  • Do not attempt to drive; call 911 for emergency medical treatment.
  • While waiting for the ambulance to come, begin self-treatment measures.

Exams and Tests

A health-care professional can usually make this diagnosis by the appearance of the rash alone. He or she will ask some questions about the patient's reaction, symptoms, and medical history.

No lab tests or X-rays are needed except under unusual circumstances.

Treatment of Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Rash

Usually self-care at home is all that is needed for a reaction to these plants.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/19/2014
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac:

Poison Ivy Oak And Sumac - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your poison ivy or poison oak?

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac - Treatment

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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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