Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac

Given that we reside in a very wooded region of the U.S., poison oak, ivy, and sumac are quite common. Dr. Dolder at Greenwich Point Dermatology in Greenwich, CT, can help treat the uncomfortable symptoms associated with these rashes and reduce inflammation to promote a swift recovery.

What are the signs and symptoms of poison oak, ivy, and sumac?

The sticky oil in these plants causes a type of allergic contact dermatitis of the skin that elicits an itchy, blistering rash. It can start immediately upon exposure and worsens over the course of a few days, peaking after about a week. While the blisters can start to fade after that time, some rashes can last as long as three weeks.

What are my treatment options for poison oak, ivy, and sumac?

The most important thing you can do if you suspect you’ve be in contact with any of these plants is to wash any affected clothing in hot water and take a shower as soon as possible. While the rash itself is not contagious, exposure to any of the oil in these plants can cause contraction of the rash.

Treatment depends on the location and severity of the reaction. A topical or oral steroid can reduce inflammation, antihistamines can limit the symptoms, and antibiotics can help if the area becomes infected. If the eyes or face are involved, swelling can occur and oral steroids may be necessary for faster relief.

If you suspect you or your child has contacted poison oak, ivy, or sumac, reach out to Greenwich Point Dermatology as soon as possible to help manage your symptoms and reduce your discomfort. Please contact us here or email info@greenwichpointderm.com.