Poison ivy signs and symptoms to look out for

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 12:06 AM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - Around 50% of people will have a reaction to poison ivy, according to Catherine Wilson, a Physician Assistant at Augusta Health.

Wilson said the rashes are caused by the oil found on poison ivy, poison sumac and other plants, and that at this time of the year they see an increase in patients coming in to treat poison ivy.

The oils come in contact with your skin and causes contact dermatitis: that causes itching and blister like rash on the skin that can be very irritating said Wilson.

“Some of the more severe rashes you can see or some of the more severe side effects would be if the face is involved, the genitals, if a large percentage of the body is involved that can cause more irritation for patients.” said Wilson.

Wilson said to wash yourself as soon as possible, every minute counts an exposure.

”If you come into contact with it, you want to get rid of the contaminated clothing that you are wearing as soon as possible and you want to wash, wash with a dish washing liquid and wash the body three times going in one direction in moments with the wet wash cloth.” said Wilson.

Wilson said to come in to see a doctor for your rash if it is causing you irritation, sleep troubles, covers a large part of your body or face. In those scenarios topical or oral steroids can be used for symptom management.