Poison Ivy, Poison Oak

What are poison ivy and poison oak?

Poison ivy and poison oak are plants that cause an allergic reaction when it comes into contact with the skin. The result is a reddish and itchy rash with blisters or bumps.

Poison ivy

• Leading causes skin rashes in adults and children who spend a lot of time outdoors.
• You can identify the plant by its red stem and its three green and shiny leaves.
• It grows as a vine along riverbanks and can be found all over the United States.

Poison oak

• It is a shrub with three leaves. Looks similar to poison ivy.
• Poison oak is common on the west coast.


• The rash is the result of the resins or oils of these plants coming into contact with the skin. The resin is absorbed rapidly into the skin.
• The fluid from the blisters does not cause spread. If the oils are washed off, it does not spread to another person.
• Smoke produced from burning these plants also cause similar reaction.


• The reaction be mild or severe. In some cases the person may need to be hospitalizes. The symptoms are at their worst in the first few days and may last for a couple of weeks.
• Reddish and streaky patches of rash
• Reddish bumps that may become large blisters that weep


• Wash your skin with lukewarm soapy water as soon as possible
• Wash and clean clothes and any other belonging that may have come in to contact with the plant.
• Never scratch the boils to avoid infections.
• Calamine or hydrocortizone creams and lotions can be applied.
• Cool compresses help with the itchy skin.
• You may have to take anti-histamine pills.
• Learn to identify the plants and avoid them.
• If have to be in areas with these plants, wear protective clothing
• Wash anything that might have come into contact with these plants.

What you can expect when you visit our clinics

1. Stop by our front desk to visit a certified Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant. No appointment is required.
2. Your medical practitioner will examine your medical background, go over your medical issues, perform an examination and supply you with an individualized plan for treatment. This might consist of non-prescription items or a medical prescription.
3. Towards the end of your visit to our clinic, your medical attendant will give you an overview, an invoice and some instructional material may be given.
4. The overview of your clinic visit can be forwarded to your primary health care provider with your authorization.