Allergic Contact Dermatitis Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Allergic Contact Dermatitis Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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Symptoms

The main symptom of poison oak, ivy, or sumac is an intensely itchy, red rash. The rash appears within 24-72 hours of exposure to the oil. The rash often appears streaked and may develop into oozing blisters. The oozing material will not sensitize others.

The skin rash may cause discomfort. It is not serious, though, and usually resolves on its own in 1-2 weeks. However, you should contact a doctor right away if you are highly sensitive or have the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the face or throat
  • Rash on the genitals
  • Swelling or rash that covers more than one third of your body
  • Rapidly spreading rash
  • Signs of a bacterial infection, such as pain, increased redness, or pus

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of poison ivy, oak, or sumac is based on the presence of a characteristic itchy rash, and possible exposure to plants containing urushiol oil.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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