Poison Sumac, OAK And IVY
Poison Sumac, oak and ivy are all plants in the Toxicodendron family. They often cause an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis, which often results in an itchy, red rash that often takes the form of tiny blisters. Contact dermatitis is the most commonly diagnosed skin problem in people who have been in contact with plants.
What Causes The Rash?
The rash caused by one of these plants is caused by skin contact with the oils in them. They are called urushiol (pronounced Yoo-ROO-shee-all), which is commonly found all types of in poison sumac, oak, and ivy plants. There are a few ways to get a rash from them including:
A rash caused by poison sumac, oak or ivy cannot be spread from person to person even if you touch the liquid inside of the blister. When you or someone else breaks out in a rash, it is from coming into contact with the oil. You immune system sees it as a threat and act immediately. Some people have more severe reactions than others.
If you think you have come into contact with one of these plants and have a rash you should look for the following symptoms:
In some cases a reaction to one of these plants is quite severe. For those who have a severe reaction, even a small amount of the oil can cause serious symptoms such as the following:
A dermatologist or doctor can usually diagnose a rash from poison sumac, oak or ivy simply by looking at it and obtaining answers to the following questions:
Most people do not go to the dermatologist for treatment of a rash caused by these plants. They are usually simple to take care of. In the event that you develop a rash you can do the following at home to treat it.
The itching associated with these rashes can be quite severe but there are certain medications you should avoid as they can cause allergic reactions by themselves.
If the rash covers a large portion of your body or you have other severe symptoms you should consult your doctor immediately. They may prescribe a corticosteroid cream to help get rid of the rash. If the rash is severe or refuses to go away, you may be given corticosteroid pills or injections.