Rashes:  Poison Ivy, Shingles

What are the Symptoms of Poison Ivy?

Symptoms of poison ivy can vary depending upon the severity and amount of exposure to urushiol. They may include any of the following:

  • Redness

  • Itching

  • Swelling

  • Blisters

Poison ivy can also be inhaled in smoke

form if burned, which can lead to severe

complications. In such a case, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Diagnosing and Treating Poison Ivy

Diagnosing poison ivy typically includes a conversation with the patient about where they’ve been recently and what types of exposure they may have had. From there, the rash will be examined for confirmation of either poison ivy or other poisonous plant, or another form of exposure. Poison ivy is typically treated with corticosteroid creams, oral antihistamines and medicated lotions.

Poison ivy typically clears up within one week of treatment.

Pediatric Considerations

The oil in poison ivy—called “urushiol”—can easily make it onto clothing, toys and even pets when contact is made with the plant, causing a rash in children. Pediatric patients should be watched for infection, which can occur following poison ivy.

Get Treated for Poison Ivy.

At Willis Urgent Care, we know just how uncomfortable and annoying poison ivy can be. Our team of clinicians treating  sees and treats poison ivy regularly, including cases ranging from mild to severe. We’ll help get you back to normal without ever needing to schedule an appointment ahead of time.

Shingles

A viral infection that causes an itchy, painful rash, shingles usually appears as a single stripe of blisters, which wraps around the right or left side of the torso. While not life-threatening, a shingles outbreak can be extremely painful for certain people. Here’s what you should know about this treatable condition.


What Causes it?

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is also responsible for causing chickenpox. When someone recovers from chickenpox, the virus sits inactive near the brain and spinal cord. After several years, however, it can reactivate and cause shingles.

 

The Symptoms

When people develop shingles, they tend to experience the following symptoms on only a small section of the body:

• Sensitivity to touching
• Burning, pain, tingling or numbness
• An itchy, red rash, beginning a few days after pain
• Blisters that ultimately break open and crust

Pain is typically the very first symptom of shingles. In some cases, the pain can be so severe, it can be mistaken as a sign of lung, heart or kidney dysfunction. Some people may develop singles without a rash. In certain cases, a person may also experience fever, fatigue, headache and sensitivity to light.

When to See a Doctor

You should always see a doctor if you think you have shingles, since anti-viral medications can shorten the duration of a singles outbreak and reduce the chances of complications. That said, it’s especially important to seek quick medical attention under the following circumstances:

• A rash or pain near the eye, since this can cause permanent visual problems
• You are older than 59, since this can raise the risk of complications
• You have a weakened immune system due to medications or chronic illness
• The rash becomes especially widespread and/or painful

You can reduce the risk of developing shingles by getting vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend vaccinations for people under 60; however, your doctor may recommend that you get vaccinated between the ages of 50 and 59 if you have health issues that might make it difficult for you to tolerate a shingles outbreak.

For more information on Poison Ivy and Shingles see the following websites:

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/allergy_poison_ivy_oak_and_sumac/article_em.htm

 

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/default.htm

Disclaimer: The links above are to sites independent of Willis Urgent Care. The information provided is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your doctor. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your specific medical questions, treatments, therapies, and other needs.

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