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

When to Seek Medical Care

See your health care provider if you have the following conditions:

  • Large areas of rash causing significant discomfort
  • Rash on your mouth, genitals, or around your 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 you have swelling of the face and throat or difficulty breathing, feel dizzy or faint, or lose consciousness, you may be having an anaphylactic reaction.
  • If you have any of these symptoms, go immediately to a hospital emergency department.
  • Do not attempt to drive yourself; if no one is available to drive you immediately, call 911 for emergency medical treatment.
  • While waiting for the ambulance to come, begin self-treatment measures.

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider can usually make this diagnosis by the appearance of the rash alone. He or she will ask you some questions about the reaction, your symptoms, and your 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.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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