Tips for Poison Ivy Prevention and Treatment from Virtual Immediate Care Provider Shannon Delaney


Poison ivy is a common plant that causes an itchy, blistering rash when a person comes in contact with the oil on the leaves, stem, or root of poison ivy, oak, or sumac. The rash usually starts 24 to 48 hours after contact, is very itchy, and can last for weeks if not treated. The motto for avoiding poison ivy is, “Leaves of three, let it be” when doing yardwork and playing outside. The best advice is to try to cover your arms and legs and wear closed-toe shoes and gloves. If you come in contact with poison ivy, wash your skin with soap and water when you go inside. Also, wash your clothes, shoes, and gardening tools. If you can remove the oil from your skin within the first hour after touching poison ivy, you might be able to limit the rash.

If a rash starts, first try calamine lotions, over the counter cortisone creams and/or antihistamines for the itch. Another option is to soak in oatmeal baths to help relieve itching. Try to not scratch the rash as it could lead to further infection. If your rash continues to spread or is worsening, especially to your face or genitals, you can call Immediate Care for a virtual visit right from your home. You can skip the trip and a provider can determine the severity of your rash and the kind of treatment that is needed during a video visit and if an oral steroid is recommended. Make sure you are in a bright, well-lit room for the best view of the rash. If your rash is on your face, try not to wear make up to cover the rash.
Virtual Immediate Care is Now Available

Immediate Care is available for walk-in appointments with an experienced provider. We now also provide virtual appointments! Just call 603-577-CARE to schedule a virtual visit Monday through Friday, 9 am – 7 pm. You can also check Immediate Care walk-in wait times online.

Our Immediate Care team is always here for you, providing quality care in your own community.

Posted: 5/31/2023 by Shannon Delaney, PA, Immediate Care