Whether it’s on a hike or doing some yard work, most people come into contact with a poisonous plant at some point in their lives. The rash resulting from poison ivy on the skin can be itchy, painful, and otherwise extremely uncomfortable. The team at RI Skin Doc is happy to help you identify a rash and find the relief you need after contact with a poisonous plant. 

If you’re ready to feel better, we’re ready to help! Request an appointment with us today.

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FAQs on Poisonous Plants:

What kinds of plants are poisonous?

Poisonous plants are one of the most common reasons for rashes. When you touch a poisonous plant, irritating, oily sap called urushiol triggers an allergic reaction once it comes into contact with the skin. A person can be exposed to urushiol directly or by touching objects that have come into contact with the sap of one of the plants. The most common plants known to secrete urushiol are as follows:

  • Poison Ivy: Three glossy green leaves, can grow as a vine or a low shrub.
  • Poison Oak: Light green leaves resembling oak leaves that are covered in small hairs.
  • Poison Sumac: Grows as a small tree with long, smooth leaves arranged in pairs.

What are the signs of contact with a poisonous plant?

Exposure to plants of the family Anacardiaceae, especially Toxicodendron spp. (e.g., poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac), can cause any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Red streaks or lines where the plant brushed against the skin
  • Small bumps
  • Large, oozing blisters

How can I find short-term relief for my rash?

These treatment procedures can help you relieve discomfort from a poison ivy rash:

  • Immediately wash areas of skin that may have touched the plant.
  • Apply wet compresses or soak the area in cool water.
  • Use over-the-counter products, such as Hydrocortisone 0.5% or 1%.

If your rash is moderate or severe, visit your dermatologist, as prescription medication may be necessary.