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J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2011 Jun;23(6):275-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2011.00615.x. Epub 2011 May 3.

Black-spot poison ivy: a rare phenomenon.

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  • 1College of Nursing & College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205, USA.



To provide an overview of the clinical presentation, diagnosis, management, and treatment with advanced practice nursing implications of black-spot poison ivy phenomenon.


Case presentation and comprehensive literature review on black-spot poison ivy.


Black-spot poison ivy is a rare phenomenon and usually poses a diagnostic challenge. It usually presents after exposure to a higher concentration of uroshiol on Toxicodendron plants. Patients present with black-spot deposits on the epidermis with underlying poison ivy dermatitis. The black deposits cannot be washed off the skin and are followed by itchy blisters. They eventually peel off and the skin heals without scarring.


An understanding of the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, treatment, and management of this rare phenomenon is important for the nurse practitioner (NP) to be able to make an accurate diagnosis and initiate appropriate treatment without delay. The NP's recognition and differentiation of it from other skin disorders including melanoma is paramount.

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