Poison ivy’s urushiol oil gives the itch, prevention is easy

When it comes to poison ivy the summertime is when cases often swell up and become more common, just like the rash appears more vividly in the warm weather. However, even as there have been an increased number of cases, slightly speaking, in the U.S. in recent years this doesn’t mean poison ivy is any more aggressive than it has ever been to this point.

According to dermatologists the answer is relatively simple. To keep your skin from becoming overly exposed, simply avoid the plant if possible. However, if exposure happens it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will break out into a rash. Instead, the experts say that there is a period of time between contraction and infection, so to speak.

Poison Ivy

Dermatologists suggest that washing the potentially infected area well when you believe you’ve come in contact with poison ivy is key. Washing the site where the poison ivy had come in contact with the flesh within an hour or two is key to preventing the rash from actually developing. Typically it will take anywhere from a day or two, to as much as ten days to actually see the rash develop.

The experts say that poison ivy only causes a rash when the urushiol, which is contained inside the plant itself, is released. When the urushiol is released onto the skin, it is what actually reacts with the skin to create the rash. This is a good sign for those who ordinarily encounter poison ivy because simply brushing against the leaves won’t give you the rash.


That is why those who typically get the rash actually get it when they are doing yard work, or something significant outside. Pulling weeds, digging things up, or even cutting things down outside can mean that coming in contact with the urushiol is definitely easier. However, it is also important to point out that only 75% of people are actually allergic to the oil or will have a rash. The other 25% will actually have immunity to it, where the rash will simply not develop.

Taking these tips, plus using general caution will make dealing with poison ivy easier this summer. Also, if you develop a rash, spending time in chlorine filled pool, or utilizing anything that can dry out the rash is a great method for actually coping with the rash that does develop. Dermatologists also point out that it can’t be spread from person to person, like many people think, and it really can be a very manageable thing to deal with.

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  • Wash with soap and COOL water. Cool water is better than warm water. Warm water opens up your skin pores which can increase the chance of the urushiol oil releasing into your skin and giving you a rash.