Difference between Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Difference between Poison Ivy and Poison Oak – Poisonous herb and poison oak are the most common causes of allergy. All belong to the family of Anacardiaceae. Both are in the same genus Toxicodendron. The previous species are radicans, while the name of the species oak diversilobum.

Contact dermatitis is the allergic condition that occurs when certain substances come in contact with the skin.

Although plants like poison ivy are sources of allergies, such as dermatitis, there are other irritants as well.

Irritant dermatitis is the most common form of skin rash in allergies caused by these plants. Allergic responses are a response to urushiol oil in plants.


Poison Ivy

Skin rashes with venous erection are quite common in people who like to spend most of their time out there. The rashes are usually reddish and appear as blisters. The allergy is not contagious and the spread can be limited by not using soap. First aid involves cleaning the area with alcohol followed by washing in water. The use of soap can move the urushiol oil causing the spread and makes it worse. After the first wash with plenty of water, use soap and shower.

If you do not take immediate action, this will usually settle on your skin and trigger heavy eruptions.


Poisonous oak

Poisonous oak is a similar plant that causes irritating dermatitis. The plant also has urushiol oil which is the allergy-causing agent.

The plant is commonly found in the western US and Canada. It occurs in both ivy and brushed oak structures. There is another species of Toxicodendron pubescens, commonly called the Atlantic Poison-oak, which occurs in the Southeastern United States, including Texas and Oklahoma.

The appearance is hairy and the allergen is the same urushiol oil which is the most potent irritant among the plant derivatives.


Difference between Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Difference between Poison Ivy and Poison Oak


Both belong to the same family and same gender that differ in species. The poisonous oak leaves look like the oak leaves and hence the name.



Three leaflets, furry surface, white berries are characteristic of poison ivy. The poisonous oak leaves are similar but look like oak leaves.



Poison ivy grows as a bush, shrub or vine, while poisonous oak grows like a shrub in most cases, although some forms of the vine are prevalent.



Poison Ivy plants are common in the western half of the USA. The poisonous oak is found on the east side, particularly along the Mississippi coast.



The first aid for all rashes is the same. For skin rashes due to poison ivy and poison oak, additional treatment is done with calamine lotion and prednisone.



Both are not contagious if urushiol oil is not spread by chance. Infections may rarely result from pruritus.


Both plants appear similar, produce the same type of rash and require the same treatment. It depends on where you are residing to differentiate a rash of poisonous herb from the rash of poisonous herb. The urushiol resin is the causative agent of contact dermatitis. The best way to prevent these rashes is to avoid exposure to them.

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