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Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans, also known as poison ivy is a red rash caused by a plant. Poison ivy is a plant with 3 green leaves and a red stem. Also you can identify the plant by the thorn less vine, or a shrub up to 2 feet tall. You can obtain poison ivy from contact with the oils on the plant, directly or indirectly. Poison ivy leaves an itchy red rash. It sometimes forms bubbles or large blisters on the skin. Poison ivy is an allergic reaction to the sap oils on the plant. It can become so serious that it forms large blisters up to 2 inches across the skin. I personally have never had poison ivy. I have been told that I am immune. But the information I have read states that immunity changes throughout the age of the person. Anyone or anything that has made contact with poison ivy, I would stay away from. This rash can last up to three weeks, and itches like crazy! If you do happen to come in contact with the plant, find a garden hose with cold water and rinse the part of body that has made contact. Do not take a shower, that can only spread the rash. Your local pharmacy can have some treatment options for the rash to stop the itching. Do not itch the rash, that will only release the oils and cause it to spread. If it gets to serious, call a doctor.


Q1: is it true that if you have posion ivy and you touch someone else, would the person that you touched get poison ivy as well? like, does the rash spread through contact? (M. Fujimoto)
A1: Yes. You can spread the rash through contact. Untill the rash is dried out it is still able the spread because of the oils.

Q2: Is it possible to just get a posion ivy rash from being around a lot of the ivy or do you actually have to rub up against it, making contact with the skin? (M. Seibert)
A2: As long as you or things you are touching have not make contact with the ivy you will not get the rash.

Q3: Where is poison ivy most commonly found? (S. Bamber)
A3:It is most commonly found around the outside of wooded areas in North America.


Q4: Initially, should you just use running water or should soap be used when trying to clean the affected area for the first time?(CBACON)
A4: Cold running water should be used. No soap should be used. You need to be very careful with not spreading the oils with soap or water.

Q5: I have heard of a case where someone got poison ivy in their lungs from breathing in the smoke of buring poision ivy. Would this actually be possible? (W.Stocker)
A5: Yes. If you burn the poison ivy plant, then breathe in the smoke it can kill you. It will spead the plant oils into the air and the smoke will carry it. Burning poison ivy is very dangerous.