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Poison ivy grows as vines or low shrubs in most climates. Each leaf on a poison ivy plant has three smaller leaflets. Touching 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 help. Talk to 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.
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