Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care warning signs Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Poison Oak Underlying Cause

Poison ivy is caused by an allergic reaction to a chemical, called urushiol, from the poison ivy plant. The reaction causes inflammation of the skin, which results in a rash and intense itching.

Poison oak and poison sumac are similar to poison ivy: they cause the same kind of allergic rash.

Continue to Poison Oak Anatomy

Last Updated: Jun 23, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Poison Oak References
  1. Guin JD. Treatment of toxicodendron dermatitis (poison ivy and poison oak). Skin Therapy Lett. 2001 Apr;6(7):3-5. [11376396]
  2. Stibich AS, Yagan M, Sharma V, Herndon B, Montgomery C. Cost-effective post-exposure prevention of poison ivy dermatitis. Int J Dermatol. 2000 Jul;39(7):515-8. [10940115]
  3. Tanner TL. Rhus (Toxicodendron) dermatitis. Prim Care. 2000 Jun;27(2):493-502. [10815057]
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