Hello, my grandma has been suffering from a poison ivy rash for around 7 weeks now and it won't budge, even with treatment... I'd like to know:
1. Do any poison ivy plants exist in the UK?
2. How could she have come into contact with the oil that causes the rash?
NB: She has not travelled abroad; the rash is still present and more spots have recently been forming, they are on most parts of her body.
Hope you can help, many thanks in advance!
Sorry to know your Grandmother is suffering why do you say its a Poison Ivy rash, the urushiol oil is apparently found in Cashew nuts, Mango and Gingko
I imagine its possible to be effected by Asian lacquer pens/ furniture
I feel sorry for your Grandma - 7 weeks of itching!
Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) does not grow wild in the UK, and it has not been introduced as far as I know. From its native ranges and climate in N. America and Asia, however, I would expect that it would grow in the UK. So I would not rule it out.
But I wonder why you are considering poison ivy, or referring to 'poison ivy rash'.
You can check the diagnosis here, for instance
Note that there are many garden and wild plants that can cause rashes. Most of them are included in this list (which is of broader scope)
That's really just to qualify my saying 'many'. It does not help you directly to ID what might be culprit in this case.
(And are we sure it was a plant that caused the reaction?)
There are many treatments mentioned on the internet, eg.
- I really couldn't say how effective or safe they are
- any treatment may have caveats on its use, including dangers of prolonged use (and I find your seven weeks worrying)
There are lots of medical questions here, and I am not qualified to provide medical advice.
The main thing I suggest is getting professional advice. If you have done that, resulting in the 'treatment' you mention above, it is definitely a medical issue that needs continued/further professional medical advice.
If you are not happy with your GP in this case, you can ask for another opinion and/or a referral to a skin specialist.
Thank you both, she has been diagnosed(?) with poison ivy rash from her local GP; he has only seen 2 cases of which throughout his medical career. He has referred her to a skin specialist and is waiting for further tests to be carried out. It was just a couple of queries, as doctors are not sure how she has contracted the rash considering she has not been to any country it is native to. I had read on a few websites from various opinions that it does grow in some parts of the UK, but very mixed opinions on this subject, so not too sure. We thought perhaps she may have either: been bitten by a foreign insect carrying the oil, wearing an item of clothing carrying/containing the oil, or most unlikely (but still possibly) used a product containing urushiol oil, e.g. if it consisted of cashew oils or mango.
Thank you both for taking the time to reply, hopefully it won't be too much longer, and if I find out the cause, I will let you know.
Thanks again for your time,