Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Poison Ivy

Rhonda Goodman, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC; Deborah Hollimon, MS, ARNP, FNP-BC


Dermatology Nursing 

In This Article


An 8-year-old male, accompanied by his mother, presented with a rash on his face. The child had been playing in the yard a day earlier and had contact with some "weeds" which the child's father identified as poison ivy. That evening his mother noticed red bumps on the front of his neck. She described the five bumps as looking like mosquito bites. The next morning the mother noticed the bumps had spread from the center of the anterior neck up the right side of his face to the scalp line (see Figures 1–3). The child complained of itching. His mother had applied hydrocortisone lotion on the rash. Upon inspection by the nurse practitioner, the lesions were described as papulovesicular and clustered, evolving in a linear pattern from the anterior neck to the right mandibular area, then in a straight line ending at the scalp line at the right temple. The wet-looking lesions were surrounded by an erythematous base.

Figure 1.

Lesions presented in a linear pattern.

Figure 2.

Papulovesicular lesions clustered at right anterior neck and mandibular area.

Figure 3.

Lesions coalesced to form a plaque.


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