Poison Ivy - Oak - Sumac

Disponible En Espanol

Care at Home

  • STEROID CREAM: * To help with the itch, put 1% hydrocortisone cream on the rash. * No prescription is needed. * Use 3 times per day.
  • COLD: * Soak the involved area in cool water for 20 minutes. * You can also rub the rash with an ice cube. * Do as often as needed to help the itching and oozing.
  • ALLERGY MEDICINE: * If itching persists, give Benadryl by mouth. * Use every 6 hours as needed. * No prescription is needed. * See Dose Table.
  • TRY NOT TO SCRATCH: * Cut the fingernails short. * Help your child not to scratch. * Reason: Prevent a skin infection from bacteria.
  • MORE POISON IVY: * New blisters may occur several days after the first ones. This means your child probably has ongoing contact with poison ivy oil. * To prevent it from coming back, bathe all dogs or other pets. * Wash all clothes and shoes that your child wore on the day of contact.
  • RETURN TO SCHOOL: * Poison ivy or oak cannot be spread to others. * The fluid from the blisters or rash can't cause poison ivy. * No need to miss any school or child care.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Most often, the rash lasts 2 weeks. * Treatment can reduce the severity of symptoms. * Treatment does not change how long they last.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Poison ivy lasts for more than 3 weeks * It looks infected * Your child becomes worse
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Poison ivy is caused by skin contact with the oil from the plant. * The oil can also come from the fur of outdoor pets. * Most poison ivy rashes can be treated at home. * Here is some care advice that should help.


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
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    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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