Swelling of the throat and eyes, or swelling all over the body. If you scratch a poison ivy rash, bacteria under your nails can cause the skin to become infected. See your doctor if pus starts to come out of the blisters. Inhaling urushiol can cause severe shortness of breath and inflammation of the lining of the lungs.
Exposure to poison ivy can cause serious allergic complications, such as more general swelling, headache, fever, or infection. A doctor should be consulted if the rash remains red and itchy for more than 2 weeks, if the rash spreads over most of the body or near the eyes, or if there is a fever. In addition, the urushiol toxin in poison ivy is not killed by fire. As a result, being exposed to or inhaling the smoke of burning poison ivy can cause a serious allergic reaction, both inside the body and on the skin.
Urushiol is found in all parts of these plants, including leaves, stems, and roots, and is even present after the plant dies. Urushiol is rapidly absorbed into the skin. It can also be inhaled if poisonous plants are burned. Smoke can expose not only the skin to the chemical, but also the nostrils, throat, and lungs.
Inhaled urushiol can cause a very serious allergic reaction. The allergic reaction to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac is usually contact dermatitis. This can occur 24 to 72 hours after exposure. Dermatitis is characterized by itchy bumps and blisters.
Sometimes swelling occurs in the contact area. Eventually, the blisters rupture, ooze, and then crust. Poison ivy, oak, and sumac contain an oil called urushiol (yur-oo-shee-aal). If you have an allergic reaction to this oil, you may develop a rash.
Because most people are allergic to this oil, almost everyone who comes into contact with it develops a rash. Do you need a vaccine or a booster? Now schedule for children 6 months and older Poison ivy is a common poisonous plant that causes an itchy skin rash. Other poisonous plants that induce eruptions include poison oak and poison sumac. These plants produce an oily sap called urushiol that causes an irritating and itchy allergic reaction.
When you touch a poisonous plant or an object that has been in contact with a plant, you have an itchy rash. This rash is a form of allergic contact dermatitis. Your healthcare provider will look at the rash, evaluate your symptoms, and ask you questions to determine if you may have found a poisonous plant. Other allergens and irritants, in addition to poisonous plants, can cause contact dermatitis or itchy rash.
If you haven't been outdoors or in contact with plants, your healthcare provider will want to rule out other skin conditions or causes. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an oral steroid, such as prednisone, if the rash becomes more severe or if it forms on the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, or genitals. It may look like a rash is spreading, but in reality new rashes are developing on areas of the skin that were in contact with urushiol oil. You may have touched a plant in some areas and haven't even noticed, for example, if a backpack strap rubs against plants and then touches your bare shoulder.
Some rashes take longer to develop. The extent of the rash depends on the sensitivity of the skin and the amount of oil it touched. You can't get a poison ivy rash by touching someone else's rash. However, you could develop a rash if you touch the oil on someone else's body or clothing.
It can also come into contact with oil by touching your pet's fur or a contaminated object, such as a gardening tool or camping equipment. The best way to avoid developing this itchy rash is to learn what poisonous plants look like in order to avoid them. Most poisonous plant eruptions cause mild (but annoying) symptoms that go away in a week or two. Rarely, a rash lasts longer than a month.
Scratching can open the skin and cause an infection. Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.
The effects of contact dermatitis caused by poison ivy range from mild, short-lived redness to severe swelling and blistering. However, poison ivy rash is possible if you touch plant resin that is still on the person or contaminated clothing. While some people may be exposed and suffer little or no effects, they are unlikely to be fully immune to poison ivy. If you suspect that you have been in contact with a poison ivy plant, wash the affected areas and surrounding areas immediately with soap and water.
Poison oak closely resembles poison ivy, although it generally looks more like a shrub, and its leaves have a shape similar to oak leaves. But once a person is sensitized and completely allergic, their next contact with poison ivy could cause itching and a severe rash within 4 to 48 hours. It is also possible to experience the effects of poison ivy if burned, as the oil is transported in the smoke. If you are visiting Poison Ivy Country, you can try one of the barrier lotions available from outdoor vendors.
If you have a poison ivy rash or blisters, scratching can cause skin breaks that can become infected. With an allergic reaction, such as poison ivy causes, even repeated exposure to the plant may not cause a rash at first. Poison ivy rash often appears in a straight line because of the way the plant rubs against the skin. However, you should contact your doctor if the rash does not go away with home treatment, if the rash worsens, or if this is the first time you have experienced a poison ivy rash.
Poison ivy is a common wild plant that causes an extremely irritating allergic reaction when touched or brushed. . .