Poison ivy, oak, and sumac dermatitis: Identification, treatment, and prevention

Lisa A. Garner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Allergic contact dermatitis from poison ivy, oak, or sumac is common among people who work or exercise outdoors. The plants, classified in the genus Rhus or Toxicodendron, contain allergens that can cause reactions ranging from mild pruritus to severe urticaria or generalized maculopapular eruptions. Initial management includes cleansing, cold compresses, and, possibly, oral antihistamines for symptomatic relief. Topical corticosteroids are given for localized nonracial eruptions; systemic corticosteroids are used for severe eruptions. Prevention involves avoiding contact with the plants and washing exposed skin within 2 hours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
JournalPhysician and Sportsmedicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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