Poison Ivy

SkinCare in Wellesley, MA

Poison ivy is a wild plant that can cause itchy, irritating, or even painful rashes if you come into contact with it. Poison ivy reactions are relatively common and usually treated at home, but some patients may require treatment from a dermatologist when symptoms become severe or widespread. Dr. Rashel Goodkin is an expert dermatologist who can relieve poison ivy symptoms for patients in the Boston area.

What is Poison Ivy?

Poison ivy rash caused by an allergic reaction to urushiol, an oily resin found in the plants poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

Poison Ivy Symptoms

A poison ivy rash is typically red, swollen, and itchy. The rash often appears as a straight line due to the plant brushing against the skin, but can be more widespread, especially if the oil has been transferred throughout the body by contact with clothing or other causes. Patients may also experience swelling, blisters, or difficulty breathing if they’ve inhaled smoke from burning poison ivy, oak, or sumac.

When to See a Dermatologist

Some patients will find relief from poison ivy from simple, at-home treatments, especially if they wash the skin quickly after coming into contact with urushiol. However, you should seek treatment from a dermatologist such as Dr. Goodkin if you have widespread symptoms, continuous swelling, blisters that ooze, or your rash does not subside within a few weeks. Seek emergency or urgent medical treatment if you have great difficulty breathing or a fever that exceeds 100 degrees F.

Poison Ivy Treatment

Depending on the severity of your poison ivy rash, Dr. Goodkin may recommend an oral corticosteroid such as prednisone to help reduce swelling and allow the skin to heal more quickly. If a bacterial infection has resulted from damage to the skin, she will also prescribe antibiotics as necessary. Poison ivy can also be treated using topical corticosteroids, antihistamines (such as Benadryl), and cool baths or wet compresses. Dr. Goodkin will evaluate your symptoms and recommend the best treatment plan to relieve your poison ivy rash.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Goodkin, call our office at 781.227.7977 or request an appointment through our online form.