What is Poison Ivy?

Poison ivy is a plant that can cause an itchy rash upon contact. It typically grows in the form of a vine or a shrub, and can be found throughout most of North America. The plant usually grows in fields, wooded areas, and along riverbanks, though it can also be found in urban areas. Poison ivy leaves can be yellow, red, or green, depending on the seasons. A substance found in the plant called urushiol causes a rash to occur. While the rash is not contagious, it can be very itchy. Other plants that produce similar rashes include poison sumac and oak.

Common symptoms of a poison ivy rash include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Small or large blisters

How to Treat Poison Ivy

If you have been affected with poison ivy, there are many ways to control symptoms such as cold compresses, calamine lotion, antihistamines, or non-prescription hydrocortisone cream. Most cases of poison ivy rash can be treated at home, and clear up between one and three weeks. If the rash is near the eyes or affects a large area of the body, contact your doctor as soon as possible, or visit Ultra Med Urgent Care.

Tips for Avoiding Poisonous Plants

There are a few ways that individuals can avoid coming into contact with poisonous plants such as poison ivy. These include:

  • Avoid areas where you know poison ivy grows
  • Cover up limbs with shoes, socks, long sleeves, gloves, etc.
  • If you come into contact with poison ivy, wash the affected area right away to wash away plant oils
  • If you touch poison ivy, scrub under your nails to avoid spreading the plant’s oils
  • Wash any items that have come into contact with poison ivy, such as clothes, tools, and sports equipment

If you have been affected by poison ivy, our physicians at Ultra Med Urgent Care can help to treat your symptoms with an individualized treatment plan. Contact us today to learn more.