Poison ivy is the most common kind of allergic reaction in America, and millions of children experience this itchy frustration every year. At Comprehensive Pediatrics in Edison, New Jersey, the compassionate pediatricians offer effective poison ivy care to help your child escape the itchiness as soon as possible. Call the office or book an appointment online today.
Poison ivy is both a plant and the common name for the contact dermatitis rash caused by direct contact with that plant.
The poison ivy plant contains an oily substance, urushiol, throughout its leaves, stems, and roots. Poison oak and poison sumac also contain this poisonous oil and can cause severe rashes as well.
If your child has the poison ivy rash, they may have some or all of these symptoms:
It's often a challenge to prevent children from scratching because the poison ivy rash can be so itchy. But, scratching can worsen the rash and make it harder to heal. That's why it's so important to see your child's Comprehensive Pediatrics provider for help with their symptoms.
The most common way to get poison ivy is bare skin contact with any part of the poison ivy plant. Your child may develop a poison ivy rash after walking in the woods and brushing against the plant unknowingly.
It's also possible to develop a poison ivy rash after touching an object that came in contact with the plant. For example, if your child walks through poison ivy, but doesn't actually touch it, they could later develop the rash after touching their contaminated shoes.
Although it doesn't cause a rash, inhaled smoke from burning poison ivy plants can cause nasal passage and lung irritation and breathing issues.
If your child comes in contact with poison ivy, wash the affected area of their skin thoroughly as soon as possible. This can help remove at least some of the urushiol remaining on the skin. Wash their clothing and anything else that came in contact with the poison ivy plant, right away as well.
At the first sign of a poison ivy rash, contact Comprehensive Pediatrics. Your child’s pediatrician can recommend a soothing lotion to minimize itching and may also prescribe corticosteroids if the poison ivy rash is particularly severe.
If your child develops an infection related to the rash, they likely need antibiotics. Usually, poison ivy rashes clear up in around two or three weeks.