Many people write to us and ask: Is poison ivy contagious? It is not contagious, but there are ways you can get it besides touching a poison ivy plant. Lets explain this further.
Poison ivy as well as poison oak and sumac all contain a chemical oil called urushiol. The plant releases this oil when it is touched.
Most people are very sensitive to urushiol, and as a result will suffer an allergic reaction (a rash) when exposed. Approximately 75% of people exposed to urushiol will have an allergic reaction, to varying degrees. All parts of the plant - the leaves, vine and roots contain urushiol.
Most people that ask, is poison ivy contagious, fear getting the rash by touching someone who has broken out into a rash. Someone with the rash is not contagious because the urushiol oil has already been absorbed into their skin. They are only contagious if the urushiol oil has not yet penetrated the skin. Their clothes could be contagious if the oil got on them. A very common way to get poison ivy is to touch something that has recently come in contact with urushiol. Examples include: Gardening gloves, a dog that was in the woods, tools or shoes.
It is very important to treat poison ivy as soon as possible. Treating right away can lesson the duration and severity of the rash. Please see our poison ivy medication section below for treatment tips.
Now that we have answered the question is poison ivy contagious, lets discuss symptoms and treatment.
The main symptoms of poison ivy are an itchy red rash that appears within 1-2 days of contact with urushiol oil. Blister like lesions often occur, and these lesions can ooze a clear liquid. While most people have mild symptoms which go away on their own within 2 weeks, many people have longer lasting or severe symptoms.
If you suffer severe symptoms such as swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and eyes, or widespread rash over your entire body, you should see a doctor immediately. Although rare, a severe allergic reaction can be deadly.
The goal of poison ivy medication is to treat the symptoms, and to limit the duration of the rash. This is because there is no cure for poison ivy.
The problem with most poison ivy medications is that they take a long time to work, or don’t work at all. Others can have side effects that are worse than the poison ivy rash.
For this reason, many medical professional believe natural treatments are your best alternative. Natural treatments have no side effects, and for many people is the most effective option.
Since treatment is most effective if begun immediately, we recommend that poison ivy medication be kept in your house at all times. If you have ever suffered from poison ivy, you know that effective medication is an essential part of a home safety kit.
The editors of Healthy Skin Guide have spent a great deal of time and money researching natural poison ivy medications. Finally, we have found a safe and effective treatment that we are comfortable in recommending. It is called
Burt's Bees Poison Ivy Soap.
Burt's Bees Poison Ivy Soap is an all-natural treatment that quickly works to eliminate the symptoms from poison ivy. It helps to soothe the constant itching and burning, and to eliminate the welts, blisters, bumps, and rashes. It contains no dangerous steroids.
Follow this link to learn more about
Burt's Bees Poison Ivy Soap, and see how it can help you.
If you have additional questions about is poison ivy contagious, please contact us. If have tried a poison ivy medication and want to share your experience with our readers, please write to us.