Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Rash Facts

When it comes to poison oak and poison ivy rash there can be a great deal of questions! Not to mention, all of the hub-bub found on the internet can be quite confusing! As the trusted name in poison oak and ivy for over 50 years, we've gathered a bit of knowledge over the years and compiled a few of the most frequently asked questions and answers to help you when the dreaded rash comes a knocking at your door!

What does poison ivy and oak look like?

Poison ivy and oak have leaflets of three, change colors throughout the season, and may have berries. See our images of the plants for reference. (linkto: /tips-info/images-video/images/poison-plant-identification )

Do the blisters cause poison ivy and oak rash to spread?

Thinking that breaking blisters cause the rash to spread is a very common misconception. However, the only way for the rash to spread is for the rash-causing oil, urushiol, to spread. Blisters are caused by your body's immune response to urushiol after is has bonded with your skin.

Should I cover the rash with bandages?

It is a good idea to cover the rash only when necessary as oxygen may help it heal faster. If you do cover the rash, be sure to use loose bandages.

Should I break the blisters?

Blisters caused by poison ivy or oak is your body's way of removing the toxin. It is best not to break the blisters but allow them to run their course. If the blisters are painful, you should consult your doctor.

How long will poison ivy or oak rash last?

This is probably one of the most common questions we get asked. It is very difficult to answer because everyone's immune system reacts differently. The average person usually experiences a rash for 2-4 weeks. If your rash is severe, red, feels hot, or if you experience other signs of possible infection, you should consult your doctor immediately.

How can I relieve the itching?

Over-the-counter anti-itch medications may help relieve symptoms. If you are not finding success with OTC's or if you have a severe rash, your doctor may recommend prescription medications such as prednisone.

Does bleach help with poison ivy or oak rash?

Bleach can be very damaging to your skin and may cause irritation. Avoid using bleach as it may cause your condition to become worse.

Still have questions? Feel free to send it in to us.