I Have Poison Ivy; What Should I Do?

If you like outdoor sports or camping, there’s a good chance you’ve been around poison ivy. It can be difficult to spot because poison ivy grows with other plants. If your skin touches poison ivy, you will know for sure because you may break out in an itchy, blistery rash 12 to 72 hours later. Your dermatologists at North Mountain Dermatology in Phoenix, Arizona want you to know how to prevent and treat poison ivy.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you can suspect poison ivy if you experience any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Itchy skin and hives
  • Swelling and blisters that often form lines or streaks
  • Redness or red streaks
  • Crusting skin

Your dermatologists at North Mountain Dermatology want you to watch out for any severe reaction to poison ivy. You should go to the emergency room immediately if you have:

  • A rash covering most of your body or on your face
  • A lot of blistering
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Swelling, especially if your eyelids are swollen shut
  • Itching that can’t be controlled with medication

Ideally, you want to try to avoid poison ivy plants, but at the very least, wear long sleeves and long pants when you are camping or hiking. Try to cover exposed skin as much as possible. If you come into contact with poison ivy, wash the exposed skin with cool water and wash your clothing.

Poison ivy can go away on its own, usually within 1 to 3 weeks. Your dermatologists at North Mountain Dermatology can help with irritating symptoms and prescribe several treatments including:

  • Oral antihistamines
  • Oral steroids, like prednisone
  • Topical cortisone creams
  • Antibiotics if you develop an infection from the rash

If you develop a rash from poison ivy, don’t wait until it drives you crazy, especially when relief is just a phone call away. Call your dermatologists at North Mountain Dermatology in Phoenix, Arizona. They can help stop the itch, so call today!