A poison ivy rash is caused by coming in contact with the oil found in the plant. The rash is very itchy and can be accompanied by redness, swelling, hives and crusting skin, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
To manage a poison ivy rash, the academy suggests:
- Immediately rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water.
- Wash your clothing and anything else that may have the oil on its surface.
- Do not scratch or touch the rash or blisters.
- Take short, lukewarm baths.
- Apply cool compresses.
- Consider applying cream and taking an antihistamine.
A poison ivy rash is not contagious. If you have trouble breathing or swallowing, the academy urges you to go to the emergency room immediately.