Things to know about poison ivy:
- The rash is not contagious from one person to another. However, if there is residual uroshiol oil on clothing, shoes, pets, etc., this can “spread” the rash from person to person.
- Scratching poison ivy blisters does not spread the rash.
- There is no danger of damage to the eyes with poison ivy. If the rash is present near the eye area, however, it can cause significant swelling, and we will sometimes treat this with oral steroid medication, if it is severe. Please call to schedule an appointment in the morning if you are concerned. Application of cool compresses can be helpful for swelling. Keep in mind that eye swelling is going to be worst in the morning, after having been lying down all night, and it decreases through the day.
- Any clothing, shoes, etc. that may have come into contact with poison ivy plant must be washed thoroughly to remove the uroshiol oil.'
- Antihistamine medications, such as Zyrtec and Benadryl, have not been shown in studies to be effective at decreasing itching from poison ivy.
If the poison ivy outbreak is severe, please call in the morning to schedule an appointment, as oral steroid medication can sometimes be helpful.