A common contact dermatitis caused by contact with soluble oleoresins (urushiols) from the poison ivy, oak, and sumac plants (Toxicodendron species).
Contact can result in a severe, itchy dermatitis, which often persists for 10 to 15 days.
Prevention relies on recognition and avoidance of the plants, but many people are unaware of their appearance.
Immediate washing of the skin after inadvertent contact may prevent development of the allergic response.
First-line treatment is corticosteroids: topically for mild-to-moderate cases, and orally for severe reactions.
History and exam
Honorary Associate Professor of Dermatology
Waikato Clinical Campus
University of Auckland
MR declares that he has no competing interests.
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Iowa College of Medicine
BS declares that he has no competing interests.
Kinghorn Dermatology Unit
Royal United Hospital
CL declares that he has no competing interests.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer