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Poison Ivy

Overview

Poison ivy causes a skin irritation called contact dermatitis and results in a red, itchy rash consisting of small bumps, blisters or swelling. Many people are sensitive to an oily plant resin called urushiol, the common irritating substance in poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. It takes only a tiny amount of urushiol to cause a reaction. Urushiol is very sticky and doesn't dry, so it easily attaches to your skin, clothing, tools, equipment and pet's fur. Treatment for poison ivy aims to relieve the itching until the reaction naturally resolves.

Diagnosis

Signs and symptoms of a poison ivy rash include redness, itching, swelling and blisters. The rash usually appears within a couple of days after contact with the plant's oils and lasts for up to 3 weeks. Poison ivy can vary from mild to severe. It presents as a red rash that it is extremely itchy; eruptions in streaks or patches where the plant touched the skin and where it was transmitted by our hands from the original site of contact to other areas; red bumps and possibly also large, weeping blisters.

Management

The poison ivy reaction is self-resolving and not contagious. However, certain circumstances require clinical attention. For example, a severe or widespread reaction; rash affecting sensitive areas of your body, such as your eyes, mouth or genitals; large blisters or a fever. Scratching a poison ivy rash with dirty fingernails might cause a secondary bacterial infection resulting in pus within the blisters. Treatment of a secondary infection generally requires prescription antibiotics. In rare circumstances, poison ivy may be so severe that hospitalization is indicated.

Treatment and Medication

The urushiol resin enters skin quickly, so try to wash it within 30 minutes of exposure with soap and water or with Tecnu, an oil-removing product. Scrub under the fingernails with a brush to prevent the resin from spreading to other parts of the body. Typically, the poison ivy rash goes away on its own within one to three weeks. Effective relief of symptoms can be achieved with over-the-counter medications like calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream or aluminum acetate (Domeboro solution) soaks. Antihistamines can stop extreme itching. In severe cases, especially rash around the face or genitals, your doctor may prescribe oral or injected steroids.

Coping

Fortunately, neither the poison ivy rash nor blister fluid is contagious. Since the reaction is based on contact with urushiol, thoroughly clean anything that may be contaminated. If the contact with urushiol has left black stains on clothing or utensils, these need to be exposed off as effective cleansing can no longer be performed. Gently washing off the harmful resin from your skin within minutes after exposure may help avert a reaction.

Prevention

The best way to prevent an allergic or irritant reaction from urushiol is avoidance of contact with poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak. Know what these plants look like and where they are commonly found. They typically have leaves made of three or more leaflets and climb on other plants or fences. When hiking or engaging in other activities that might expose you to poison ivy, try to stay on cleared pathways. Remove poison ivy from your backyard.

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SKIN

# of surveys: 3749
Last updated: 05/18/2017 4:45 PM,

PATIENT RATINGS

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definitely
93.1%
probably
6.16%
maybe
0.58%
not likely
0.08%
no
0.02%

Compare our service to other similar practices

excellent
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very good
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good
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poor
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Overall doctor performance

excellent
94.2%
very good
4.89%
good
0.80%
poor
0.03%
very poor
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The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
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The doctor took time to answer your questions

excellent
94.0%
very good
4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
very poor
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The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
94.3%
very good
4.16%
good
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poor
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very poor
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The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
2.18%
poor
0.11%
very poor
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Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
0.08%

Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
good
3.39%
poor
0.24%
very poor
0.08%

Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
very good
6.93%
good
2.08%
poor
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Parking

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66.4%
very good
14.4%
good
15.7%
poor
2.49%
very poor
0.9%

Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
90.9%
very good
7.23%
good
1.85%
poor
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What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Ease of getting an appointment. Other places called I needed to wait more than 4 months for an appointment.

#12017-07-12

the professionalism and everyone made me feel comfortable.

#22017-08-19

I really appreciated how knowledgeable the doctor was about my condition. I also felt that she listened well and considered my opinion. Great job! Cant wait to come back.

#32012-06-14 15:35:48

The information provided by the physician was very helpful and useful. I would gladly do what she recommended.

#42016-11-20

Both Alana and Dr. Ringfeil listened to all of my concerns. Excellent doctor and office, will highly recommend.

#52011-05-25 10:21:24

I was very please with the service when setting up my appointment, and when I called back with questions concerning my insurance. Very pleasant and accomodating staff!

#62011-01-04 10:23:13

EVERY ONE WAS REALY NICE

#72017-07-03

Being explained about shopping around at diff. pharmacies for pricing of prescriptions.

#82017-09-11

I was very please with the service when setting up my appointment, and when I called back with questions concerning my insurance. Very pleasant and accomodating staff!

#92011-01-04 10:23:13

Everyone is so warm and welcoming! great ambience, great music The lovely doctor is perfect- highly skilled, warm and a great mother!

#102017-05-17

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

My only complaint is that I work and live (1 mile from) Center City, PA and I wish the office (Dr. Ringpfield) had weekend or later hours. Dr. Heckman was great but she cannot assist me with my cosmetic issues. Overall - like the office and professionalism.

#12011-08-10 18:44:27

Keep up the great work!

#22011-03-03 11:57:42

I would like to get in with the doctor. I also would like more than one option presented to me. Also, it would be nice to be offered more natural alternatives, or integrative treatments.

#32011-08-10 15:47:37

Service was fantastic. No suggestions.

#42011-11-29 13:58:45

Always laugh at my jokes.

#52016-12-12

I would like you to offer evening and/or Saturday hours for both dermatology and esthetician appointments.

#62010-11-04 16:32:44

Overall excellent service. Friendly front desk staff. A very small suggestion would be to have someone immediately identify themselves as the person to register a new patient and direct where to go when someone enters the waiting room. With a big waiting room and three people at the front desk, it is a lot to take in and not know to whom to speak. Having had negative experiences with doctors' receptionists where all three of the three people at the front desk have ignored me until I called out and forced a response, I am sensitive to the issue and imagine others have had this experience as well.

#72011-01-31 10:42:48

All fine

#82017-10-05

I am very satisfied now.

#92017-02-25

before prescribing a very expensive treatment, inform the patient you are doing so.

#102017-03-04
Customer Rating : 4.3

Based on 33 ratings