The rash appears immediately. It usually peaks within a week, but can last up to 3 weeks. A poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash looks like raised, red blister patches or streaks. The rash usually doesn't spread unless urushiol is still in contact with the skin.
Poison ivy grows like vines or low shrubs in most climates. Each leaf of a poison ivy plant has three smaller leaflets. Touching any part of the poison ivy plant can cause redness and swelling of the skin, blisters and severe itching, sometimes hours after exposure. A rash from one of these poisonous plants usually manifests as itchy red bumps on the skin.
Rashes and how they look vary from person to person. Symptoms may include severe itching, redness, swelling, or blisters. It is important to never break the blisters, as they can cause an infection. The liquid that comes out of the blisters often dries to form a yellow, crust-like substance.
It is best to leave the rash uncovered to allow oxygen to aid the healing process. However, if the blisters ooze excessively, use a loose bandage to cover the area. Poison ivy is a common poisonous plant that causes itchy skin rash. Other poisonous plants that induce eruptions include poison oak and poison sumac.
These plants produce an oily sap called urushiol, which 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. 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.
The sap of the poison ivy plant, also known as Toxicodendron radicans, contains an oil called urushiol. Calming burn treatment can also relieve itching and inflammation on skin affected by a poison ivy rash. The leaves of the poison ivy plant are green in summer, but may turn red, orange, or yellow in spring and fall. Poison ivy grows throughout North America, especially in wooded areas, and touching it can cause an itchy rash in most people.
The rash occurs only where the vegetable oil has been in contact with the skin, so a person with poison ivy cannot spread it through the body by scratching. If you touch poison ivy with a pair of pants or a shirt and don't wash it after contact, you could develop another rash if you touch clothes. Toxicodendron plants, such as poison oak, ivy, and sumac, are poisonous plants that can secrete a toxic oil called urushiol. A number of other essential oils, such as calendula, chamomile, and eucalyptus, may be helpful in reducing symptoms of poison ivy rash.
Poison ivy is native to all states except California, Alaska, and Hawaii, and can also be found in Central America, Mexico, and Canada. However, touching the vine can still cause a rash because all parts of the poison ivy plant, from roots to leaves, contain urushiol oil, to which between 50% and 70% of American adults are sensitive. You can also spread the oil to another person if it comes into contact with clothing that has been in contact with poison ivy. Finding poison ivy is easy in the United States, where it grows virtually everywhere except Alaska, Hawaii, and some desert areas of the southwest.
It is not uncommon for a person to not react to poison ivy or oak and, one day, develop a rash. Talk to your doctor if you have a severe poison ivy rash or if the rash affects your face or genital area. More than 4 in 5 people will develop an itchy, red, inflamed skin rash when they come in contact with poison ivy and its urushiol oil. .