June 15, 2022

| perri dermatology
Medically reviewed by Anthony J. Perri, M.D.

With more people spending time outdoors, they will most likely encounter pesky summer plants that can cause painful, itchy rashes. Most of these summer plants can be hard to identify, which is why you should pay close attention to plants in your area. Here are some skin irritating summer plants and how to treat the rash: 

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is one of the most common types of skin irritating plants. This plant can be found all over the world, especially in heavily wooded areas. It grows in clusters and usually near trees or trails. When exposed to poison ivy, you may not see a rash immediately. People usually see a rash appear a couple days after exposure. A rash from poison ivy will be itchy, red, swollen and sometimes painful. This type of rash can be healed with an over the counter ointment and is typically not serious. However, if the rash is persistent and does not go away, a doctor may have to prescribe antibiotics or a stronger topical ointment. 

Wood Nettle 

Wood nettle is a plant that appears in wetter, moist areas. They usually grow in clusters and are a home to many insects. They are vibrant in color and have small, hair-like objects that sting when you touch them. This plant does not cause a rash, but once in contact with the stinging hairs, you will feel a painful sensation that should go away within the hour. Ice or an ointment may help with the stinging. 


Not only does ragweed cause seasonal allergies, but it can also cause red, itchy rash streaks or swollen and itchy eyes. These rashes can appear on contact with the plant or it can be caused by the pollen in the air, making it difficult to avoid. A topical ointment or allergy medication can be taken to relieve any rash symptoms. However, if you live near ragweeds, it may be beneficial to remove them if you are prone to the rash associated with it. 

Depending on the person, certain summer plants can cause irritations or rashes. It is important to be vigilant and treat the rash in a timely manner. If the rash does not improve, you will want to see your dermatologist. 

 If you have additional questions about the skin conditions mentioned or have a concern regarding your current condition, contact our team today! Unsure if your insurance will cover your visit? Check out our insurance coverage page for a list of accepted insurance companies so you know beforehand if you’re covered.