Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
The most common symptoms of the rash (allergic contact dermatitis) from poison ivy, oak, or sumac are:
The rash may have several stages, and its severity can also vary. It usually appears 8 to 48 hours after you have contact with the plant oil (urushiol). But it may occur up to 15 days after the contact.1 The rash will continue to develop in new areas over several days but only on the parts of the skin that first had contact with the plant oil or those parts where the oil was spread by touching. Blister fluid cannot spread the rash. Areas where the skin is thick, such as the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands, are less sensitive to the oil.
People who are highly allergic to the urushiol in these plants can have more serious symptoms that may need medical treatment. Serious symptoms may include:
Other conditions with similar symptoms
Other kinds of plant rashes can look like a poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash. These include rashes caused by:
Skin conditions that may look like the rash from poison ivy, oak, or sumac include:
Insect bites, exposure to nickel and other metals, and exposure to chemicals found in fabrics, lotions, or laundry detergent may also result in a similar skin rash.
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