Poison plant eruptions are not contagious Poison ivy and other poisonous plant eruptions cannot be transmitted from person to person. However, it is possible to get the rash from vegetable oil that may have stuck to clothing, pets, garden tools, and other items that have been in contact with these plants. Are you numb by the news? Can understanding why and what to do help consider pregnancy and having lupus? Plan Ahead Heart-Healthy Habits of Children and Teens Extend Lives Can We Prevent Depression in Older Adults by Treating Insomnia? Do you want to try veganism? Here's how to get started Q. I am very allergic to poison ivy.
My spouse currently has a serious poison ivy rash he had while trimming some bushes in our yard. I'm afraid I'm going to get a rash. Is it contagious? As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last revision or update of all articles.
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Plus, get a FREE copy of the best diets for cognitive fitness. This is partly true, partly myth. Poison ivy rash itself is not contagious, according to UAMS Dermatology Clinic. Fluid from the blisters of a poison ivy rash will not spread poison ivy either.
Poison ivy rash is caused by contact with urushiol, the oil from the leaves of the poison ivy plant. Only urushiol can cause a poison ivy rash. Brushing against a poison ivy plant can cause lumps and blisters. The rash can spread from one part of the body to another if the oil from the plant remains on the skin.
Poison ivy rash itself is not contagious. Fluid from a blister can't spread the rash. However, it is possible to get a poison ivy rash without touching a plant. Urushiol can be transferred from one person to another from skin or clothing.
Children can also pick it up from anything that has been in contact with the oil, including pets. Urushiol can even travel through the air if someone burns the plants to clean the weeds. In addition, thorough washing of clothing that may be exposed to the oily chemical is key to preventing the spread of poison ivy. Dermatologists suggest that the first exposure to poison ivy has an incubation period of about five to 21 days before the rash appears.
Most people with poison ivy will have the rash and other symptoms and signs will gradually resolve over a period of about one to three weeks. If a poison ivy rash is scratched, bacteria under the nails can cause the skin to become infected. However, it is possible that someone will develop a poison ivy rash if you touch the plant resin that is still on the person or contaminated clothing. People with poison ivy rash usually don't require medical attention and symptoms go away in about one to three weeks.
In addition, if the person who has poison ivy touches clothing or other areas of their body that have the irritant on the surface of the skin, they can spread the irritant to other parts of their own body. Finding poison ivy is easy in the United States, where it grows practically everywhere except in Alaska, Hawaii, and some southwestern desert areas. Some authorities recommend rinsing with isopropyl alcohol, soaps for poisonous plants available on the market, or soaps and degreasing detergents. To prevent a rash from occurring in this way, bathe your pet every time you suspect that he has been around poisonous plants.
If the rash is caused by poison ivy or a similar plant, your doctor may tell you to take cold showers and use a soothing lotion, such as calamine lotion. Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac contain urushiol (Yoo-roo-shee-ol), a sticky, colorless and odorless oil. You will have a poison ivy rash only if you come into contact with urushiol oil, which is the vegetable oil from poison ivy that triggers the rash. When people come into contact with poison ivy, urushiol can cause an allergic skin reaction that results in a reddish, itchy and painful inflammation of the skin (dermatitis).
This is a person's allergic response to the chemical and is therefore not considered contagious. However, if a person comes into contact with the oily chemical on the skin or clothing of an affected patient, urushiol could be transmitted and a poison ivy rash could appear in a second person. . .