Book
Appt
Philadelphia and Mainline Center of Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

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.

How can we help you?

SKIN

# of surveys: 3847
Last updated: 1/12/2021 12:30 PM

PATIENT RATINGS

Would you recommend us?

definitely
93.1%
probably
6.16%
maybe
0.58%
not likely
0.08%
no
0.02%

Compare our service to other similar practices

excellent
87.9%
very good
10.1%
good
1.8%
poor
0.06%
very poor
0%

Overall doctor performance

excellent
94.2%
very good
4.89%
good
0.80%
poor
0.03%
very poor
0%

The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

The doctor took time to answer your questions

excellent
94.0%
very good
4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
very poor
0%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
94.3%
very good
4.16%
good
1.25%
poor
0.14%
very poor
0.02%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
2.18%
poor
0.11%
very poor
0.0%

Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
0.08%

Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
good
3.39%
poor
0.24%
very poor
0.08%

Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
very good
6.93%
good
2.08%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0.05%

Parking

excellent
66.4%
very good
14.4%
good
15.7%
poor
2.49%
very poor
0.9%

Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
90.9%
very good
7.23%
good
1.85%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Quickness of service, friendliness of staff

#12020-06-16

I admired the advanced technology used by the office. I am all for the use of technology.

#22011-05-05 10:59:36

everyone was very kind and helpful! and a nice atmosphere.

#32021-01-01

I'm impressed with the office layout & decore + like the classical music played.I continue to be impressed by Dr. Ringpheil, who is also treating my son.

#42020-08-29

I was very impressed that Dr. Ringpfeil took the time out to talk to me and treat me like an individual. I am completely comfotable here and I will be coming here for my treatment.

#52011-05-04 14:47:50

I think the doctor is very thorough in her evaluations and explanations and the staff is extremely professional and friendly. Definitely 5 star service!

#62011-09-22 13:13:46

Dr. was very informative. Everyone was very nice. Please give all the ladies here a raise..

#72020-07-12

attentivness all around. Concern for my comfort during biopsy. Complete follow up instructions given.

#82020-04-26

How great everyone treats you here!

#92020-09-15

every thing was great.

#102020-08-24

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

I am very satisfied now.

#12020-03-07

Everything was great thanks!

#22011-02-25 11:46:15

Keeping me from dying of skin cancer would be good (I will behave and do the checks and annual exam to help out!!!)

#32010-11-29 11:47:11

maybe classical music on the radio? and some hunting and fishing magazines for the men. but the waiting period is so short it may not matter

#42010-11-08 11:23:38

No room for improvement

#52020-07-27

The experience was very pleasant, and relaxed. I would not recommend changing anything!

#62020-07-25

A follow up, even if its an email, after the apt. could help!

#72010-08-23 16:38:55

Nothing, Thank you so much.

#82011-03-04 10:10:02

I would like to get in with the doctor. I also would like more than one option presented to me. Also, it would be nice to be offered more natural alternatives, or integrative treatments.

#92011-08-10 15:47:37

Just don't change what you're doing

#102020-10-30
Customer Rating : 4.5

Based on 178 ratings
Send us a message!

Enter your information, and we will text you shortly.