|I've had an annoying case of poison ivy through most of August. During weeks slathered with salves and lotions, I learned a few things about it, which I will relate. To begin with, as shown in the photo above, poison ivy has a compound leaf with three leaflets, giving rise to the warning: Leaves of Three -- Let it Be! |
Poison ivy is an allergic reaction to an oily resin called urushiol that the plant has all over it. Urushiol can stick to your skin, clothes, shoes, garden tools, and can persist for a long time. The Mayo Clinic's website (click here to visit) says it can last on such things for years. You can wash it off with rubbing alcohol or soapy water.
If you have urushiol on you hands you can spread it to other places by touch, but unless you spread urushiol directly, poison ivy is not contagious. You won't get it from contact with someone else's rash. It does not even spread on your own skin, although it can seem to do just that; different spots on your skin might react to the same exposure over time, not all at once, appearing to spread as new areas break out. In my case, new rash appeared every day for about a week.
Some of the rash formed in straight lines. That's a typical look for poison ivy -- a swipe of urushiol where a leaf brushes across the skin. I have a new rule for after gardening or woods walking. I change clothes, toss them in the washer by themselves, and get that going right away. Then I take a long hot soapy bath.
|And a joke. I was so itchy that I spent a bunch of money at the drug store buying all their home remedies for poison ivy. I'll have to stop making rash decisions. LoL! |