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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 46943
Experience:  Experienced Physician trained in New York City. I'm ready to help.
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Is it possible to contact poison ivy even if you don't come

Customer Question

Is it possible to contact poison ivy even if you don't come in physical contact with the plant? Is it airborne?
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: I have seen my doctor every summer for this problem - she has prescribed pretnesone (spelling) - pill form, I have a steroid cream, cortisone creams, etc. I go outdoors (gardening, etc.) with long sleeves, gloves, slacks, boots, etc. Still some how it hits me - started out on both legs (inside my thighs) - a few other spots on my chin and arms. This has been going on for almost 10 years now.
JA: What seems to make the symptoms worse or better? Have you noticed any swelling?
Customer: Not really any swelling but a very scaly itchy area - very red - blotches - I also take very hot showers and then apply these creams for help with the itching. Not much makes any of my symptoms better.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: Not really - it does NOT happen to me at our home in FL - only MN. I've had it in May, June, July, etc Last summer, I got it twice - always takes up to 2 weeks of creams and pills to finally get rid of it. I've also had ALL the allergy tests done years ago (they prick your skin on your back with about 40 items) - also have seen a dermatologist AND an allergist.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 2 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 2 months ago.

poison ivy oils and antigens can be airborn in small amounts and it is rare, but some people can be very very sensitive to the oils and antigens in the air even in tiny amounts .

most people are sensitive to the oils and the oils from the plants can come off on clothing and cause a rash on the skin .

the oils and antigens may be traveling through the air and contacting your skin.

you may need to have ivy and poison ivy cleared from around your yard by help or your neighbors to help get rid of the antigens getting into the air.

I have a friend who is very sensitive and can inhale antigens and get irritation of the throat and nose and lungs from poison ivy antigens.

you should have an epinephrine or epi pen at home, just in case.

let me know if you have questions

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks for your info - we've already contacted the neighbors that DO have the poison ivy in their yard - so far, no help from them. Thanks
Expert:  Dr. David replied 2 months ago.

you are welcome

I wonder if they would be willing for you to pay for their poison ivy to be removed by workmen.

let me know if you have other questions.
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