What is the treatment protocol for a patient with rhus dermatitis (poison ivy rash) in one eye?—MARY CABRAL, FNP, Bristol, R.I.

Rhus dermatitis can occur following exposure to urushiol, the resin found in the Toxicodendron genus of plants. Topical management may be effective for limited exposure: corticosteroids, cool compresses (with Burow solution), and lotions (i.e., Sarna, a combination of menthol and camphor). Oral antihistamines may be helpful to relieve pruritus. Oral corticosteroids may be necessary if significant skin surface exposure or swelling of the face, hands, or genitals has occurred. Start at 1 to 2 mg/kg/day and reduce gradually over 14 to 21 days before discontinuing (Am J Nurs. 2010;110:49-52 and Am Fam Physician. 2009;79:901-902; available at www.aafp .org/afp/2009/0515/p901.html, accessed November 15, 2010).— Philip R. Cohen, MD (146-14)


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