Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Sensitivity to poison ivy, oak or sumac is very common. Coming in contact with the resin from poison ivy, oak, or sumac produces a characteristic rash reaction in many people. The medical name for the condition is allergic contact dermatitis.

Signs and symptoms of poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash include a mild, red, bumpy skin rash that typically goes away within 5 to 12 days. Other associated symptoms and signs include itching that may be intense, blistering, and swelling. The rash usually arises on areas of skin that have come in contact with the plants, but it can sometimes develop in other areas, as well.

Cause of poison ivy, oak, and sumac rash

An allergic reaction to urushiol, or plant sap, causes skin reactions to poison ivy, oak, or sumac.

Other poison ivy, oak, and sumac symptoms and signs


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.