Poison Ivy,Oak,or Sumac - Symptoms
The most common symptoms of the rash
(allergic contact dermatitis ) from
poison ivy, oak, or sumac are:
- Red streaks or general
redness where the plant brushed against the skin.
- Small bumps or
larger raised areas (hives).
- Blisters filled with fluid that
may leak out. In rare cases, some people develop blood-filled blisters that can
turn black and become shiny dark spots.
The rash may have several stages, and its severity can also
vary. It usually appears 8 to 48 hours after you have contact with the plant
oil (urushiol). But it may occur up to 15 days after the contact.1 The rash will continue to develop in new areas over several
days but only on the parts of the skin that first had contact with the plant
oil or those parts where the oil was spread by touching. Blister fluid cannot
spread the rash. Areas where the skin is thick, such as the soles of the feet
and the palms of the hands, are less sensitive to the oil.
who are highly allergic to the urushiol in these plants can have more
serious symptoms that may need medical treatment. Serious symptoms may
- Swelling of the face, mouth, neck, genitals, or
eyelids (which may prevent the eyes from opening).
large blisters that ooze large amounts of fluid.
Other conditions with similar symptoms
of plant rashes can look like a poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash. These include
rashes caused by:
- Other plants, such as the ginkgo tree,
which contain urushiol or a similar oil.
- Irritant plants, such as stinging nettle. These rashes are not caused by allergic
- Phytophotodermatitis, which may happen when you touch
certain plants and then go into the sun.
Skin conditions that may look like the rash from poison
ivy, oak, or sumac include:
- Scabies, an
itchy skin condition caused by mites.
(herpes zoster), a viral skin infection.
- Impetigo, a
bacterial infection of the skin.
Insect bites, exposure to nickel and other metals, and
exposure to chemicals found in fabrics, lotions, or laundry detergent may also
result in a similar skin rash.