Contact with the
poison ivy, oak, or sumac plants causes a rash
(allergic contact dermatitis). The rash is caused by contact
with the oil (urushiol) in these plants. Urushiol is an
allergen, so the rash is actually an
allergic reaction to the oil in these plants.
You may be more or less sensitive to the plants than other people. A
more sensitive person will have a more severe reaction and will react after
minimal contact with the oil.
The degree of sensitivity to poison ivy, oak, or sumac is affected
August 30, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.