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Plants can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Most people are allergic to certain plant oils, causing itchy, burning rashes on the skin if they come in contact with these plants. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are some of the most common plants to cause contact dermatitis. Our dermatology team at LM Medical NYC offers contact dermatitis poison ivy/oak/sumac treatment at our clinic in Greenwich Village.

Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin reaction that occurs when a foreign substance comes in contact with the skin. A common allergen that causes allergic contact dermatitis is certain plant oils. Most people are allergic to poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Even brief contact can result in an allergic reaction on the skin.

Symptoms of Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac Exposure

Most people have heard that poison ivy and related poison oak and sumac cause itchy, painful rashes. What you may not know is that not everyone will get a rash from coming in contact with these plants. All three contain urushiol in their plant oils – only if you are allergic to urushiol will you have a reaction. However, an estimated 85% of people are allergic to urushiol. If you are allergic, the following symptoms can occur if you come in contact with poison ivy, oak or sumac oils through direct or airborne contact:

  • Red streaks on the skin
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Blisters and swelling

Most people have mild to moderate symptoms for 1-2 weeks. Treatments can include antihistamines, corticosteroid creams, calamine lotion and skin soothing agents. For more severe blistering or infections, other medical treatments may be needed.

If you have allergic contact dermatitis from poison ivy, oak or sumac, treatment is available at LM Medical NYC. Our board certified dermatologist can provide treatment to give you relief and prevent more serious skin infections. Contact our office in Manhattan for an appointment.

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