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Poison Ivy

Overview

Poison ivy causes a skin irritation called contact dermatitis and results in a red, itchy rash consisting of small bumps, blisters or swelling. Many people are sensitive to an oily plant resin called urushiol, the common irritating substance in poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. It takes only a tiny amount of urushiol to cause a reaction. Urushiol is very sticky and doesn't dry, so it easily attaches to your skin, clothing, tools, equipment and pet's fur. Treatment for poison ivy aims to relieve the itching until the reaction naturally resolves.

Diagnosis

Signs and symptoms of a poison ivy rash include redness, itching, swelling and blisters. The rash usually appears within a couple of days after contact with the plant's oils and lasts for up to 3 weeks. Poison ivy can vary from mild to severe. It presents as a red rash that it is extremely itchy; eruptions in streaks or patches where the plant touched the skin and where it was transmitted by our hands from the original site of contact to other areas; red bumps and possibly also large, weeping blisters.

Management

The poison ivy reaction is self-resolving and not contagious. However, certain circumstances require clinical attention. For example, a severe or widespread reaction; rash affecting sensitive areas of your body, such as your eyes, mouth or genitals; large blisters or a fever. Scratching a poison ivy rash with dirty fingernails might cause a secondary bacterial infection resulting in pus within the blisters. Treatment of a secondary infection generally requires prescription antibiotics. In rare circumstances, poison ivy may be so severe that hospitalization is indicated.

Treatment and Medication

The urushiol resin enters skin quickly, so try to wash it within 30 minutes of exposure with soap and water or with Tecnu, an oil-removing product. Scrub under the fingernails with a brush to prevent the resin from spreading to other parts of the body. Typically, the poison ivy rash goes away on its own within one to three weeks. Effective relief of symptoms can be achieved with over-the-counter medications like calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream or aluminum acetate (Domeboro solution) soaks. Antihistamines can stop extreme itching. In severe cases, especially rash around the face or genitals, your doctor may prescribe oral or injected steroids.

Coping

Fortunately, neither the poison ivy rash nor blister fluid is contagious. Since the reaction is based on contact with urushiol, thoroughly clean anything that may be contaminated. If the contact with urushiol has left black stains on clothing or utensils, these need to be exposed off as effective cleansing can no longer be performed. Gently washing off the harmful resin from your skin within minutes after exposure may help avert a reaction.

Prevention

The best way to prevent an allergic or irritant reaction from urushiol is avoidance of contact with poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak. Know what these plants look like and where they are commonly found. They typically have leaves made of three or more leaflets and climb on other plants or fences. When hiking or engaging in other activities that might expose you to poison ivy, try to stay on cleared pathways. Remove poison ivy from your backyard.

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SKIN

# of surveys: 3748
Last updated: 09/08/2016 3:05 PM,

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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Everyone was very kind and helpful.

#12016-07-09

everyone was very pleasant and made me feel comfortable about my situation as well as gave me the hope for relief I was hoping for.

#22016-04-21

I liked the staff, the office, decor, music and the overall atmosphere. I felt comfortable. I will definitely recommened this practice in the future.

#32016-08-26

The friendliness. professionalism and knowledge of all staff members.

#42016-07-26

I thought the doctor was very thorough in explaining the procedures I need to take care of my skin problem

#52016-06-18

Art work

#62016-05-27

Explanation by both DR. and assistant Thanks!

#72016-05-13

The friendliness. professionalism and knowledge of all staff members.

#82016-06-20

Time spent with doctor was longer than expected. Doctor said she liked Retin-A Micro.

#92011-03-30 10:03:23

Everything was easy, transitions were smooth, staff was friendly, everyone smiled. It was a great experience

#102012-07-26 11:37:17

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

Don't know, you guys did a great job.

#12016-12-01

let people know about opportunity for free consultation with Jill(?) when making appointment.

#22010-09-13 11:24:22

I have no suggestions. I am very pleased with ever aspect of my care

#32010-10-18 16:25:51

shorter wait time for new patient appointment.

#42016-05-30

How about a smile to greet a brand new patient? How about explaining that I need to go and fill out info on the computer instead of pointing over there you need to complete things. I felt like walking out by the rudeness. The medical assistant and phys asst were extremely kind, thorough and helpful. I realized that I was here to seek help for my child and received amazing medical help. Thank you.

#52011-07-11 11:52:49

Being able to get an appointment at the time of the outbreak.

#62017-01-15

Ask patient if they have any pain before asking them to waiting three weeks for appointment

#72016-07-03

My next appointment could not be scheduled for 6 weeks. I wish I could be seen sooner!

#82010-12-16 10:06:03

I can't think of anything at this time.

#92016-08-21

beethoven & mahler symphonic music pumped N2 waiting area* squash magazine & velonews & roleur periodical*(my wish list JK)

#102016-05-26
Customer Rating : 4.50

Based on 31 ratings