Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac Dermatitis
Alternate Names : Allergic Contact Dermatitis
What can be done to prevent the condition?
To prevent an allergic reaction to urushiol, individuals should avoid contact with poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac plants. Long sleeves and long pants provide a barrier to the urushiol. It's also important to wash both the skin and clothing thoroughly after any potential contact. A skin cream is available for people who are especially sensitive to urushiol and can't avoid the plants.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
There are usually no long-term effects from exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. Repeated bouts of the allergic contact dermatitis can become more severe. The allergic reaction may be particularly bothersome when it involves large areas of the skin surface, the face, or the mouth.
What are the risks to others?
The allergic contact dermatitis can only be spread to other individuals if someone comes in contact with the urushiol on the person's skin before it has been washed off. Special care needs to be taken when handling clothing, jewelry, shoes, tools, or animals that have come into contact with any part of the plant. Contact with a person's blisters or fluid from broken blisters does not spread the dermatitis.