What happens if I have prolonged poison ivy rash?

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The poison ivy rashes are typically by an allergic reaction to the plant oil called urushiol. The rashes can cause severe prolonged itchiness that can be bothersome. Majority of individuals are allergic to urushiol. Poison oak and poison sumac generate the similar oil which triggers the rashes as well. The rash is quite troublesome but not serious. On the other hand, the outcome of a lengthy poison ivy rash can be problematic.

Generalized rashes

Individuals who are suffering from widespread contact dermatitis due to exposure to poison ivy should consult a doctor as soon as possible. In case the rash is severe due to the heavy inoculation of urushiol, the doctor might prescribe treatment that involves the use of steroids to minimize the signs and symptoms of the rash.


It is important to note that dermatitis complicates the rash caused by urushiol. The severe itchiness and scratching will only expose the skin to microorganisms that might be present on the hands. Some strains of bacteria are capable of causing severe infections with staphylococcus aureus or staph as well as methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It is important to note that the staph bacteria can enter the broken skin and trigger the development of infections that can lead to other health issues.

Poison ivy rash
Individuals who are suffering from widespread contact dermatitis due to exposure to poison ivy should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Once the signs and symptoms of infections are present, it is best to consult a doctor for further assessment as well as start the suitable treatment to prevent the spread of infection.

Systemic involvement

In case the mouth, eyes or genitals are involved or there is fever higher than 100 degrees, it indicates systemic involvement. Remember that the rash will not get better and consulting a dermatologist is needed for proper assessment as well as start the appropriate treatment.

Prolonged rashes

The contact dermatitis that is triggered by exposure to urushiol does not spread on its own. Remember that reinfections can occur since contact is made repeatedly with the oil present on pets, clothes, furniture or the plant.

It is vital to wash all clothing that was exposed to the plant oil in cool soapy water to eliminate the oil. Pets should be bathed in cool soapy water and rinse thoroughly. You can utilize a clean, moist towel or cloth to wipe furniture, gardening tools as well as pets and wash any contaminated clothing.

Being able to recognize poison oak, sumac and ivy plants is vital in order to avoid them. In case the individual is required to go through areas where these plants are present, it is vital to protect the skin entirely, use gloves and avoid touching any part of the body that is not protected. All the protective clothing should be removed right away by washing separately in cool soapy water and separate them from other clothing.

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