Health Risks of Poison Ivy

Posted on May 2, 2024 at 11:00 AM by Tom Swegle

A wooden sign that reads 'Caution Poison Ivy' in front of a bright forested area.

It’s common knowledge that coming into contact with poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac can cause an irritating rash. But poison ivy can present other health risks that are not as well known.

Contact Dermatitis

The most common health risk associated with poison ivy is contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction caused by urushiol. Urushiol is the compound found in poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac that causes itching. Exposure to urushiol results in a red, itchy rash that can last for several weeks.

Eye Irritation

Urushiol can cause irritation, redness, and swelling if it comes into contact with the eyes. This can happen if a person touches poison ivy and then touches their eyes.

Throat and Lung Irritation

Burning poison ivy sends urushiol particles airborne. If inhaled, the smoke can irritate the respiratory tract. Exposure to poison ivy smoke can cause severe allergic reactions, especially in individuals with asthma or other respiratory issues.

Secondary Infections

The itchy rash caused by poison ivy can prompt scratching, and if the skin is broken, the rash can become infected and require antibiotics.

Severe Reactions

For some individuals who have a severe sensitivity to urushiol, a reaction can be life-threatening and require hospitalization. Swelling that causes difficulty breathing or swallowing, a high fever, or a rash that covers most of the body or face are signs that you should go to the emergency room.

Avoid Reactions with Outdoor Joe’s

With Outdoor Joe’s Poison Ivy Pro®, you don’t have to worry about poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. This homeopathic rhus tox solution prevents reactions and ensures you’re protected. Get your bottle of Outdoor Joe’s® today!