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Symptoms and Treatment for Poison Ivy - Legacy ER

  • Category: Treatment
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Jay Woody
Symptoms and Treatment for Poison Ivy - Legacy ER

Poison ivy is a common type of plant in the US. It looks like a regular shrub or weed in any garden. While seemingly harmless, contact with poison ivy can lead to rashes on the skin. The effect can range from red skin to painful blisters.

Who Can Be Affected by Poison Ivy?

The oil that poison ivy produces causes allergic reactions in people. While it does not affect everyone, over 85% of Americans are still susceptible to it. So, if you are wondering if you can get it, the chances are high that you can be affected.

People who are allergic to poison ivy would have the same reactions to poison oak and sumac. That is because all these plants produce the same oil, urushiol, which is responsible for triggering the rash on your skin.

While most people are allergic to these plants, the difference is the severity of the reaction. Some people experience just mild reactions, while others suffer from more severe symptoms.

A child can have a more severe reaction now and eventually build stronger tolerance to the oil as they grow older.

Cause of Rashes From Poison Ivy

The primary cause of a rash breakout is a direct touch to the urushiol. Even if you do not recall coming into contact with the leaves, you may have gotten it from the roots or stems.

Urushiol will penetrate your skin, leaving visible red lines indicating where you touched the poison ivy. Your symptoms will appear at least a day after initial contact to about 72 hours. Touching and scratching the rash will not disperse it, but it can cause an infection if you get wounded. It is not contagious, so you cannot spread it by touching other people.

Most poison ivy rashes happen from:

  • Touching the plant with your bare skin.
  • Indirect contact with the plant by touching clothing, gardening tools, or even the fur of your pets exposed to it.
  • Through airborne contact. While the plant is burning, the smoke will carry the urushiol.

Main Poison Ivy Symptoms From Exposure

The general symptoms of poison ivy exposure include:

  • Red patches or streaks
  • Rashes and blisters
  • Itching on the affected area
  • Swelling and pain in the area
  • Burning sensation


5 At-Home Treatments for Poison Ivy Rashes

Mild cases of poison ivy rashes can be treated at home by:

  1. Wash the affected area with soap and warm water right after contacting the plant to try and remove the urushiol before it causes more harm.
  2. Use a cold compress on the affected area to control blisters.
  3. Using a corticosteroid cream to stop the symptoms as directed by a doctor.
  4. Relieve the itchiness by taking cold showers or applying baking soda in water onto the affected area.
  5. Take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine to reduce the itching.

Preventing Poison Ivy Rashes

You can avoid rashes from poison ivy exposure by learning how to identify the plant. They have a triple-leaf structure, whether on the ground or climbing a fence. If you notice them, do not interact with them without proper protection.

If you are going on camping or hiking trips, wear pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect your skin from directly contacting the poison ivy. Use the same type of clothes when gardening.

You can also ask your doctor for skin products to give you additional protection in case you come into contact with it.

When to Visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care

While poison ivy exposure is relatively mild and can go away without treatment, extreme cases need immediate medical attention. Having the rash on your eyes, throat, or genital area is a cause for concern because these are sensitive and can cause complications. Severe blisters can lead to infections if scratched.

Legacy ER & Urgent Care is here to meet your medical care needs by providing affordable pricing and quality care. As part of Intuitive Health’s innovative hybrid model ER and urgent care system, patients are only billed for the level of care they receive by professional and highly trained medical staff. With six facilities located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, emergent and non-emergent care are accessible and transparent, focusing on superb customer service.

Legacy ER & Urgent Care has six convenient locations in the DFW area:

  • Allen – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 1310 W. Exchange Pkwy Allen, TX 75013, and may be reached at 972-526-5819.
  • Coppell – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 330 S Denton Tap Rd Coppell, TX 75019 and may be reached at 469-702-9917.
  • Frisco East – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 16151 Eldorado Pkwy Frisco, TX 75035 and may be reached at 972-526-7009.
  • Frisco West – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 9205 Legacy Dr. Frisco, TX 75033, and may be reached at 972-526-7020.
  • McKinney – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 2810 Hardin Blvd McKinney, TX 75072 and may be reached at 972-573-6688.
  • North Richland Hills – Legacy ER & Urgent Care is located at 8950 N. Tarrant Pkwy North Richland Hills, TX 76182, and may be reached at 817-663-1247

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