Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac
What are poison ivy, oak, and sumac?
Poison ivy, oak, and sumac are plants that can cause a red, itchy rash called allergic
What causes a poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash?
The rash is caused by contact with a sticky oil called urushiol (say "yoo-ROO-shee-all") found in poison ivy, oak, or sumac. You can get the rash from:
The rash is only spread through the oil. You can't catch a rash from someone else by touching the blister fluid.
The rash is an
What are the symptoms?
The usual symptoms of the rash are:
Some people are very allergic to the oil. In these people, even a little bit of the oil may cause serious symptoms such as:
The rash usually takes more than a week to show up the first time you have a reaction to the oil. It develops in a day or two on later contacts. The rash may form in new areas over several days, but you will only get a rash where the oil touched your skin.
The rash usually lasts about 10 days to 3 weeks. But it may last up to 6 weeks in more severe cases.
How is the rash diagnosed?
A doctor can usually diagnose the rash by looking at it and asking questions about:
How is it treated?
If you get a mild rash, you can take care of it at home.
Do not use the following medicines. They can cause allergy problems of their own:
See your doctor if the rash covers a large area of your body or your symptoms are severe. A doctor may prescribe a
How can you prevent the rash from poison ivy, oak, and sumac?
If you think you have touched any of these plants:
The best way to prevent future rashes is to
When you can't avoid contact with the plants:
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