Slide show: Poison ivy and other summer skin irritants
Photo of poison ivy plant and rash
Previous Next 1 of 9 Poison ivy

Can you recognize the most common summer skin irritants?

Poison ivy grows as vines or low shrubs in most climates. Each leaf on a poison ivy plant has three smaller leaflets. Contact with any part of the poison ivy plant can cause red, swollen skin, blisters and severe itching, sometimes within hours after exposure.

A poison ivy rash usually resolves on its own within a few weeks. In the meantime, soothe irritated skin with an over-the-counter topical treatment, such as calamine lotion. Oatmeal baths and cool compresses also might be helpful. Consult your doctor if you have a severe poison ivy rash or if the rash involves your face or genital area.

Poison oak, poison sumac and the fruit rind of mangoes cause a similar rash.

See more Multimedia July 15, 2014