You probably won't need medical treatment for a poison ivy rash unless it spreads widely, persists for more than a few weeks or becomes infected. If you're concerned, you'll probably first see your primary care doctor. He or she might refer you to a doctor who specializes in skin disorders (dermatologist).
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to list all the medications, supplements and vitamins you take. Also, list questions you'd like to ask your doctor about your poison ivy rash. Examples include:
- How long will this rash last?
- Is it contagious?
- Is it OK to scratch?
- Will scratching spread the rash?
- Will popping the blisters spread the rash?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What can I do to help control the itching?
- If the rash doesn't go away or gets worse, when do you think I need to make another appointment with you?
- How can I prevent this in the future?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
Aug. 11, 2015
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have you had a similar rash in the past?
- Have you spent time outdoors recently?
- What treatment steps have you already tried?
- AskMayoExpert. Contact dermatitis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Bolognia JL, et al., eds. Irritant and allergic contact dermatitis, occupational dermatoses and dermatoses due to plants. In: Dermatology Essentials. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- Wolff K, et al. Contact dermatitis. In: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- Prok L, et al. Poison ivy (Toxicodendron) dermatitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 16, 2015.
- Poisonous plants. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/plants. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- Outsmarting poison ivy and other poisonous plants. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm049342.htm. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Poison ivy rash (adult and pediatric). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Patient education: Poison ivy. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- Poison ivy. Nursing. 2014;6:47.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 10, 2015.