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Symptoms of Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans, better known as poison ivy, is a poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching rash in most people who touch it. The plant is not a true ivy (Hedera).

Poison ivy can be found growing in any of the following three forms:

  • as a trailing vine that is 1025 centimeters tall (4 to 10 inches)
  • as a shrub up to 1.2 meters tall (4 feet)
  • as a climbing vine that grows on trees or some other support

Symptoms appear within a few hours to 7 days after contact with the plant.

In those only slightly sensitive to it:
One or more small round bumps with a slight pus areas showing in the center. Each one is extremely itchy. It is slightly until touched by something (clothing, a hand, etc), when it suddenly becomes intensely itchy. Scratching brings momentary relief, but it causes redness, rash, and much more itching.

In those very sensitive to it:
Extreme redness, rash, and large swelling of the affected area. The itch is continuous. Many large blisters develop. As the poison is spread over parts of the body, both fever and secondary infection may develop.

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