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Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Overview :

Poison ivy, which is generally thought of as a climbing vine, can also grow as a shrub or bush. It has leaves that are elliptical in shape and grow in groups of three on a stem. Poison ivy is common in the United States, except in the southwest, Alaska, and Hawaii. Poison oak, which grows as a shrub, has leaves that are shaped like oak leaves and also grow in groups of three to a stem. Poison oak is common in the United States, especially on the west coast from Mexico to Canada.

Not everyone is sensitive to poison ivy and poison oak; however, nine out of ten people who come in contact with either of the plants will have an allergic reaction to some degree. All parts of the plants are poisonous and the amount of time it takes for an allergic reaction to develop varies from person to person. The extent and severity of the reaction depends on the length of exposure, type of contact, and how sensitive the person is to the plants. If a person is going to have an allergic reaction, it will usually occur within one or two days of exposure. However, some people have a reaction within an hour, whereas others don't experience a reaction until five days after the exposure.

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