I’ve just completed my first telemedicine visit for severe poison ivy dermatitis. Given the warmer winter and early spring our gardens are approximately 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Poison ivy (Rhus) is the most common cause of acute allergic contact dermatitis. It can appear as a red linear rash or blisters. Localized rashes may respond to topical treatment but widespread rashes frequently require oral prednisone. Here are a few suggestions for staying safe in the garden:
1. Watch out for vines with green/red leaves in groups of three.
2. Wear long sleeves, pants, and long gloves while gardening.
3. After working in the garden, wash all garden clothes and shower which will reduce risk of reaction to poison ivy.