While poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are common plants in wooded areas, there are many people who have never come into contact with them or are not sure if an itchy rash is due to a poisonous plant.

Furthermore, you may know people who have had severe reactions to coming into contact with poison ivy despite your own reactions being mild. Today, our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson will examine whether or not everyone is allergic to poison ivy and how to know if your reaction is considered severe.

Is Everyone Allergic to Poison Ivy?

It is possible to be mildly allergic to poison ivy, not be allergic to it at all or even to have your tolerance to it change over time. A reaction from these plants occurs due to an oil secreted from their leaves called urushiol.

Many people will not experience a reaction the first time they are exposed to it. It is also possible to be very allergic to poison ivy as a child, but have your tolerance to exposure grow over time, leading to rashes that are less severe.

Types of Reactive Plants

  • Poison ivy
  • Poison oak
  • Poison sumac

When Should I Seek Medical Treatment for a Poison Ivy Rash?

While most poison ivy rashes can be treated safely at home with over the counter creams and itch relief, you may want to pursue medical treatment in some circumstances.

It’s important to keep an eye on your symptoms and talk with a doctor if your symptoms worsen or new ones develop.

Severe Symptoms of Poison Ivy Exposure

  • Severe blistering or swelling around the rash
  • A rash that has spread to the eyes, lips or mouth
  • Fever
  • A rash that has persisted for more than a week
  • A rash that is over a large portion of your body
  • Difficulty breathing or severe coughing after being near burning poisonous plants

If your poison ivy has persisted or become severe, we can help you. Contact your AFC Urgent Care Hixson team today to schedule an appointment.