Poison Ivy

A Poison Ivy rash and Poison Oak rashes are caused by an allergy to the juices of these plants – called Rhus plants. To get the rash, the juice of the plant has to reach your skin, which can be done directly by touching the plant and indirectly via contact with clothing or a pet that carries the plant juice. The only way to prevent a poison ivy rash is to avoid ivy and oak plants, as well as other substances that may have been in contact with the plant’s toxin.

Like other allergies, a Rhus allergy is acquired. While there are some people who never become allergic to Rhus plants, most individuals become sensitized at some point and remain allergic. Once an individual is sensitized to Rhus plants, it is difficult to become desensitized. This process is most commonly performed by an allergist, but is rarely used except in extreme cases.

Is Poison Ivy Contagious?

A poison ivy rash is not contagious. The rash develops after a time called the “latent period” from the initial exposure to urushiol (toxic irritant in the plant juice). This period between exposure to the plant and appearance of the rash may be as short as 1-2 days or as long as 10 days, depending on the individual’s skin sensitivity and the amount of toxin contact. It is not uncommon for more rashes to appear after treatment has started. This simply means that this rash/blister had a longer latent period.

Poison Ivy Treatment

Searching for the best poison ivy treatment?  Dr. David Myers of Utah Valley Dermatology in Lehi, Utah can ease the intense pain and disability with his effective poison ivy treatment.  Common medical dermatology treatments include: oral cortisone pills or a cortisone injection in combination with topical medicine. These will decrease the inflammation and help relieve the itchiness as well.

If you come into contact with poison oak or ivy an immediate poison ivy treatment is to wash your skin as soon as possible to remove the juice of the poison oak and ivy plant.  If you are not able to rinse the areas of your skin or are unaware of the plant juices until a rash or discomfort begin here is what you can expect.  The typical poison ivy and oak rash last 3-4 weeks. Ice packs or cold showers/baths are a temporary poison ivy treatment and will relieve your itching. Some individuals find they get more relief by putting hot water (not scalding) on the itchy areas.

If you have questions concerning Poison Ivy Treatment call Utah Valley Dermatology in Lehi, Utah and schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. David Myers.  At your visit, Dr. Myers will work with you to develop an individualized poison ivy treatment plan for your specific condition.  Utah Valley Dermatology, the best skin care by a caring staff!


Dr. David Myers

Dr. David Myers is a board certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery. His expertise and attention to detail make him a trusted doctor in his community.

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