Do you know how to protect yourself from poison ivy? It may be the difference between a summer of fun in the sun and a summer disrupted by itchy, red, and irritated skin. The leaves and stems of poison ivy plants are coated in a clear oil named Urushiol which causes an allergic reaction within 12-72 hours of skin contact. Reactions cause bumpy, itchy, red, and inflamed skin that typically lasts 12 – 20 days without treatment.


When To Seek Emergency Medical Care

Though severe allergic reaction to Urushiol is rare, the following symptoms can occur and require emergency medical care:

  • Swelling in the throat, mouth, tongue, or eyelids
  • Long-lasting itch that nothing seems to cure
  • Difficulty breathing, swallowing, eating, or talking
  • A blistered rash that covers most of the body


If your symptoms are mild, they can be treated with a few simple tips to control the itch:

  • Immediately rinse the affected area with lukewarm, soapy water
  • Rinse anything that’s come in contact with the plant
  • Sooth skin with a cool compress applied to the affected area
  • Take antihistamine medication to reduce your reaction
  • Apply OTC or prescription hydrocortisone cream to the affected area


Visit AFC Urgent Care Stamford for fast, affordable treatment for skin irritation from poison ivy. We know uncontrollable itchiness, redness, and swelling can feel unbearable. That’s why we’re open 7 days a week at convenient, extended hours to provide urgent care when you need it most. We also accept most insurance plans and offer our services at deeply discounted rates for our self-pay patients. For more information, stop by our center at  3000 Summer Street in Stamford, CT or call us at 203.969.2000.