How Long Does It Take For Poison Ivy To Go Away?

May 29, 2024

Poison ivy can irritate skin and cause a notorious rash. Luckily, poison ivy rarely causes serious long-term issues. Symptoms of poison ivy tend to resolve within one or two weeks after your initial exposure. However, how you take care of yourself can also impact how long poison ivy symptoms last. Scratching or itching can cause infection and worse symptoms. In this blog, we’ll explore how long it takes for a typical poison ivy rash to go away, as well as outline when it might be necessary to seek medical attention.

For same-day seasonal care, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen. Our board-certified medical team specializes in diagnosing and treating various conditions, including poison ivy. Just walk-in any day of the week to start recovering in the right hands!

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What Is Poison Ivy?

Poison ivy is a common plant that produces an oil known as urushiol. This oil can be found in poison oak and poison sumac as well. A majority of people are allergic to this oil and experience a rash that is itchy, red, and swollen after coming in contact with the plant. Symptoms tend to appear right after exposure and can last anywhere from one to two weeks after you were exposed to the oil. 

While you have the rash you will likely experience the following symptoms: 

  • Rash: Your skin will look red. Frequently people will experience a rash that blisters.
  • Itching: The skin that has been exposed to the oil will be extremely itchy.
  • Blisters: Many people experience blisters that are filled with fluid that eventually break open and leak. 

Can A Poison Ivy Rash Spread?

While it might seem like your rash is spreading after you initially started to get the rash, it is likely that you are developing new rashes from the original exposure. Rashes can take different amounts of time to develop. So while you might immediately notice a rash on your leg, you might find another rash later on around your arm or back. 

Are Poison Ivy Rashes Contagious?

No, you cannot get a poison ivy rash from touching someone’s existing rash. However, if there is oil on a person’s skin from when they touched the ivy, that can spread and lead to rashes. Similarly, if the oil is on clothing, or in your pet's fur, you could potentially get exposed to the oil even after going inside. 

What Should You Do If You Have A Poison Ivy Rash?

If you notice a rash forming you should immediately rinse your skin in lukewarm water and use soap to wash away the oil. Removing the oil from your skin can prevent the rash from worsening. Next, be sure to wash your clothing to get rid of the oil. Afterward, you should wash anything else that could have been exposed to the oil. Once that is done, it’s important to avoid scratching, avoid touching the blisters, and prevent infection by keeping your skin clean. 

If a rash is covering a large portion of your body, or if a rash is on your eyes, nose, or mouth you should seek medical care. Signs of infection including fever should also be checked by a doctor. If someone is having issues breathing they should seek immediate medical attention. 

Get Same-Day Treatment at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen

If you or someone you know has developed a poison ivy rash, come visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen. Our medical team can evaluate your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and prescribe the necessary treatments to alleviate your rash and aid in recovery. We understand your time is valuable. That’s why our urgent care center is open seven days a week and operates on a walk-in basis– meaning no appointment is necessary to be seen by a certified provider. We accept most health insurance plans and offer low-cost options for self-paying patients. If you have any additional questions about poison ivy treatment, or other services we provide, please contact us directly at (732) 583-5100.

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