Poison ivy rash is caused by a clear, oily resin chemical in the sap of the poison ivy plant called urushiol. This chemical is found in the roots, leaves, stems of the poison ivy and poison oak.
Additionally, majority of the people who come in contact with these plants normally delevop a rash that itches really badly, so I strongly advise persons to avoid contact. Exposure to the smoke of the plant while it is being burnt is even more dangerous as it can affect the lungs.
Some cases of poison ivy rash may not require any form of medicinal treatment. However, there are some severe cases and the rash spreads widely, especially on your face or genital area. Your doctor may suggest taking pills (Prednisone) for a couple weeks.
Symptoms of Poison Ivy Rash includes:
The appearance of the rash can look like a straight line mainly because of how contact with plant was made (If it brushes the skin). The rash spreads out more if contact was made from a piece of clothing, material or pet who’s fur or body has been in contact with that plant’s urushiol. The rash recation usually develops 12 to 48 hours after exposure and typically lasts two or more weeks.
How severe the rash becomes all depends on the amount of urushiol that comes in contact with your skin. The more urushiol on the skin the sooner the rash develops. The oil can be transferred to other parts of the body with your fingers. Additionally, your skin must come in direct contact with the plant's oil to be affected. Blister fluid doesn't spread the rash.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if:
- The reaction is severe or widespread
- The rash affects your face or genitals
- Blisters are oozing pus
- You develop a fever greater than 100 F (37.8 C)
- The rash doesn't get better within a few weeks