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Poison Ivy Rash

General Information

It’s common to come away from a day of hiking or working in the backyard with a poison ivy rash. This rash can be uncomfortable but isn’t usually serious, unless it’s a widespread or severe allergic reaction, requiring emergency care.

So when should you go to urgent care? If your poison ivy rash is on your face or genitals, you may need a prescription medication to treat it. See a trusted provider at Urgent Care Goshen Physicians. We offer care for poison ivy rash to get rid of your symptoms. Our urgent care center is open in the evenings and on weekends, so you can receive care at a time that works for you.

For non-emergencies and after-hours care, call (574) 535-1700 or visit us on Elkhart Road in Goshen.

Do I have poison ivy?

Poison ivy rash is a reaction to contact with poison ivy sap. You might come into contact with poison ivy sap by touching the plant directly or touching an object that has been contaminated by the sap. The rash itself isn’t contagious, but you can pass along the sap to other body parts or people until it’s completely washed off – causing more rashes or blisters to appear. Pets may also come into contact with the plant, transferring it to you when you pet them.

Classic poison ivy symptoms are a rash, itching, swelling and blisters. The rash doesn’t spread, but it takes a few days to completely develop, giving the impression that it is spreading.

How to treat poison ivy

Poison ivy rash usually goes away on its own within 1 to 3 weeks. Home remedies to relieve itching and discomfort include:

  • Cool compresses over the rash
  • Oatmeal baths
  • Calamine lotion, although this shouldn’t be applied to the face or genitals
  • Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Benadryl

If you experience any of the following, seek medical help:

  • You have a known severe allergy to poison ivy.
  • The sap got into your eyes, mouth or genitals.
  • The blisters start to ooze or pus, or the redness and swelling increases rather than decreases.

Call 911 or visit the emergency room for the following symptoms:

  • You’re having trouble breathing, or your tongue or throat swells, especially if you inhaled smoke from burning poison ivy.
  • You develop a fever or experience chest tightness.
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