Just when I think I’ve seen it all my youngest daughter, Elle, comes in from playing in the back yard and looks like some one dabbed her with a black permenant marker.

I asked her what was on her face and she was oblivious to it. I tried really hard to wipe the spots off. I looked at pictures of her to see if I was going crazy and these moles were there all along.

Then I found another black spot only this one looked like what I would describe as a “smear”.

Other than a little itchiness she didn’t seem bothered by any of it, but I was! So I took it to Google and after much investigating I finally found something that described EXACTLY what my daughter was dealing with. The name of the condition was “Black Spot Poison Ivy”. Pub-med.gov describes Black-spot poison ivy dermatitis as “a rare manifestation of a common condition.” If what I was reading was true Elle must have come in contact with a plant that had high concentration of urushiol (which is the oil in the plants that causes poison ivy rashes). I was self diagnosing here, but it seemed to align with what we were dealing with. These are photos from the web.








So day one through six nothing changed. Then on day seven the black spots either fell off like a scab or changed to more of a pink spot that looked like a bug bite or something.

I thought that was a good sign and that we were pretty much out of  the woods. Except on what would be day 10 she woke up with one of the worst poison ivy rashes I’ve ever seen and I have seen some awful ones!

This concerned me enough to call the doctor. I didn’t like that it spread so suddenly or that it was getting worse instead of better after a week and her face was a little swollen. For us poison ivy tends to run its course in about seven days. This was another beast

When I took her in I showed all of my photos to the nurses and doctor. They were baffled and called her the mystery girl. I told them what I had found online about Black Spot Poison Ivy. They left us alone in the exam room for a minute and when they returned I was told I was right and that it appeared to be an accurate diagnosis. They had never heard of or seen another case of this but it seemed spot on (sorry that wasn’t meant to be a pun). The treatment was a low and slow dose of steroid medication for the poison ivy and some topical ointment to treat the black spots, which the doctor referred to as lesions.

It’s been five days since Elle started her medication and she’s doing great. The rash lightened up extremely quickly. The lesions are still lingering which is a little concerning, but I think they are starting to fade. I’ll try to do an update once they are completely healed.

From her sister’s account Elle had pulled on a vine in the back yard. Maybe that’s what made this such a crazy severe attack. Who knows. It’s such a rare phenemenon anyway maybe it will never happen again. I did want to share our story though because some day there may be another persons desperately searching the internet after finding what looks like a new beauty mark on their skin after being out in the woods. I’m not a medical professional, but you might be looking at black spot poison ivy. If so, the treatment is probably going to be the same as regular poison ivy. Your doctor can tell you if this web search led you in the right direction.