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Facts About...


What is it?

Poison Ivy is a three leaved poisonous outdoor plant. The plant leaves contains oil called urshiol that causes an allergic skin reaction.

How is it spread?

Direct contact with the plant leaves or objects that have been in contact with the plant can cause a skin rash.

Clothes, shoes, tools, toys, golf balls that come in contact with the plant may carry the plant oil. Pets can also carry the oil on their fur or in their saliva.

Smoke from burning poison ivy plants may cause lung and skin reactions.

What do I look for?

Most people will develop an itchy red skin rash with bumps or blisters within a few days of contact with poison ivy plant oil. Oozing blisters are not contagious.

How is it treated?

The rash may be treated with antihistamine medication or with medicated ointments such as Calamine lotion to relieve swelling and itching. A health care provider should be consulted if the rash is severe or is on the face or genitals.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash skin with soap and rinse well under running water within 15 minutes after contact.
  • Remove all clothing carefully and wash in soapy water.
  • Know what the plant looks like and avoid contact with it.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitizers when hands are not visibly dirty. Do not burn outdoor plants that may be the Poison Ivy plant.
  • If you become ill contact your health care provider.

June 30, 2016