7 doctors weighed in:

What are the differences between poison ivy and impetigo?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Karen Han
Dermatology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Allergy vs infection

Poison ivy is an allergic reaction, not contagious and will resolve over time even if untreated.
After each addition exposure to poison ivy (or poison oak), the reaction is stronger. Impetigo is an infection, typically due to staph aureus, and is contagious. Impetigo needs to be treated with an antibiotic.

In brief: Allergy vs infection

Poison ivy is an allergic reaction, not contagious and will resolve over time even if untreated.
After each addition exposure to poison ivy (or poison oak), the reaction is stronger. Impetigo is an infection, typically due to staph aureus, and is contagious. Impetigo needs to be treated with an antibiotic.
Dr. Karen Han
Dr. Karen Han
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Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dermatology

In brief: Allergy vs Infection

Poison ivy is an allergy to the urushiol oil in the plant.
Impetigo is a bacterial infection of the skin. Sometimes they occur together - that is, poison ivy can become secondarily infected and turn into impetigo. Poison ivy is treated with anti-inflammatories, impetigo with antibiotics - so it's important to differentiate. See a dermatologist.

In brief: Allergy vs Infection

Poison ivy is an allergy to the urushiol oil in the plant.
Impetigo is a bacterial infection of the skin. Sometimes they occur together - that is, poison ivy can become secondarily infected and turn into impetigo. Poison ivy is treated with anti-inflammatories, impetigo with antibiotics - so it's important to differentiate. See a dermatologist.
Dr. Joseph Eastern
Dr. Joseph Eastern
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