Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Is Poison Ivy Contagious?

Since I found myself with an allergic reaction to poison ivy a few weeks ago after geocaching one day, I thought I'd put together a few posts to share a few of the misconceptions regarding poison ivy.  First, let's take a look at what poison ivy looks like.

A poison ivy rash is NOT contagious.  Once all of the oils are removed from your body and clothing (and this is key), the rash cannot be passed from one person to another.  While the oils are still on your body, they can be transferred, and in that sense, poison ivy may be considered contagious, but that's not really the meaning of contagious, so pretend I didn't use that word.  :-)  Once the oils are gone, you can rub your rash all you want on someone else and it will not transfer the rash to another person.  

Fortunately, before realizing I had come in contact with poison ivy, I did not transfer oils to anyone else in my family or on my face.  Yikes!  So to conclude, the oils from poison ivy can be transferred, but a poison ivy reaction itself is NOT contagious.  It cannot be transferred to another person.  

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