What does poison ivy look like?

poison ivy on face

What does poison ivy look like?

The actually poison ivy plant itself has three leaves arising from the same place. A black dot test can be performed to determine if a leaf is poison ivy. While wearing gloves, crush the leaves of the suspicious plant. After a certain number of hours, poison ivy will turn black from oxidation of the resin.

The rash from poison ivy can vary from small, itchy red bumps to itchy blisters to larger areas that may look like hives or dermatitis. The poison ivy rash will often present as a group of little blisters that may be in a straight or curved line. This linear fashion occurs because of external exposure (eg, brushing up against the plant). A less vigorous case of poison ivy might not have any blisters and may be manifested by just itchy small bumps, or papules, and areas that have scaling or some degree of oozing.

If you have a dog that has been exposed to poison ivy and the dog rubs all over you, you may have poison ivy all over your body. When the chemical in poison ivy gets on your skin for a short period of time, it can spread over the body. This is how some people get poison ivy on covered parts of the body, such as arms and genitals.

Dr. Lowell Goldsmith and Dr. Jeff Bernhard contributed their expertise on behalf of VisualDx for the above information.

Published on 07/20/2010 | Last updated on 10/18/2018