On 11:33 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
We have all heard of the nasty stuff, but what can you do to prevent it, and treat it?
The first step is learning to identify what Poison Ivy looks like, so you can avoid it. Since poison Ivy takes on many different appearances, it can be a bit tricky. The old saying of "leaves of three" does ring true. So learn its appearance and avoid it! Below are some pictures of how Poison Ivy may look.

If you are looking to do some yard work in an area that possible has Poison Ivy, cover up, from head to toe.   If you are going to be attempting to cut or remove the Poison Ivy in any way, also wear a face mask.

If your think you have been exposed, before the rash starts, immediately wash yourself in a COLD shower, to try and remove the oil before it soaks in.  Wipe down all of your shoes with Alcohol, wash all of your clothes twice in hot water.

Remember that pets cannot have a reaction from Poison Ivy, but they can carry the oil on their skin or fur.  So if they have been in areas with Poison Ivy, you should cover up, and bathe them immediately, as to not spread the oil around your home.

The rash that appears is typically linear, or in patches.  It is red with small blisters.
If the rash does appear, the treatment focuses on the reduction of symptoms(itching) and letting time pass for it to resolve on its own.  Some self-treatment methods are baths or showers, antihistamines,  Calamine lotion, or OTC Hydrocortisone cream.

Any of the following should prompt you to seek medical care:

  • Rash covering large areas of your body
  • Rash involving your face, particularly your eyes or mouth
  • Swelling of eyes or mouth
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain, or burning in chest
  • Rash is persistent despite over the counter remedies