Poison Ivy Itch


Poison Ivy is a contact allergy to urushiol,the oil of the poison ivy plant. The same oil is in poison oak and poison sumac. Contacting or touching the poison ivy plant or its oil frequently causes severe inflammation of the skin. The severity of the rash does not tell you which plant caused your problem.

Symptoms of poison ivy

The symptoms of poison ivy rashes may vary based on the amount of exposure to the plant and how sensitive you are to the allergy. That said, most will experience a few or all of the symptoms below:

  • Red, itchy skin
  • Swelling
  • Blisters
  • Crusting

How to avoid poison ivy

  • Learn what each plant looks like and try to avoid them.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants outside
  • Use a barrier cream such as Ivy Block
  • If you think you came in contact with poison ivy,  remove your clothes as soon as you go indoors and place them directly in the laundry. Keep in mind,  anything that was touching the plant (garden tools, gloves, shoes AND pets) will have the plant oil on it and needs to be washed with soap and water too
  • Another ivy pitfall – in Winter and late Fall the plants have no leaves.  This makes it difficult to recognize them but they are still capable of causing  severe rashes

Treating poison ivy

If you think you have poison ivy, why be miserable?  Let Dermatology STL’s board certified dermatologist evaluate your rash as soon as possible and devise the best treatment plan for you.