Poison ivy is one of the most unpleasant rashes to contract. From the painful irritation and itching to the unpleasant blisters, poison ivy rashes can make even the slightest movement of the affected area feel like a chore. While many people may be aware of what poison ivy rash looks like and how it is contracted from poison ivy plants, there are still some helpful facts to know about this condition. For instance, if a loved one has poison ivy and you do not, what are the precautions you should take to keep yourself safe? Is poison ivy contagious?
When you see the red bumps and blisters caused by the poison ivy rash, it is a common fear that you will develop the rash from contacting the rash on another person. Is poison ivy contagious? No, not in the way you may think. If you come in contact with the rash of someone suffering from poison ivy, you will not be affected by their rash, even if they have blisters that have opened and are releasing liquid. However, you can catch the poison ivy rash from other people and even pets.
While you will not develop a rash from someone else’s rash, humans and animals can act as carriers of poison ivy which can cause the rash to develop even if you had no direct contact with the plant. The reason behind this type of spreading is that poison ivy plants have powerful oils that are clear. These clear oils can live for years without losing their ability to cause a rash. If these oils are still present on the skin of the person with the rash, then you may catch the rash. This spreading of the oils is why many people falsely believe the poison ivy rash is contagious. A rash that has been cleaned thoroughly is not contagious. The same is true for animals carrying poison ivy oils in their fur or any clothing that may have oils on it.
While poison ivy is not contagious, there are some precautions to take, such as never touch the rash of another person because there may be oils, bathe pets after any outdoor excursions, and take Rhus Toxicodendron to build up poison ivy immunity.