Spreadable Poison

So my boyfriend has poison ivy right now and has been suffering because he is afraid of spreading it, but we were told that after the first time you wash your hands it isn’t spreadable. Now this is poison ivy, so I’m not so sure, done some looking and haven’t got a conclusive answer.

Is this true or someone’s made up facts?

The Wikipedia agrees that it can no longer be spread after washing, citing a book titled A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants: A Handbook for Pharmacists, Doctors, Toxicologists, and Biologists.


Further searches agree:


Make sure he does his own laundry!

Ok cool thank you sage rat, now he is using benadryl cream and even hand sanitizer for the poison. I keep telling him the hand sanitizer isn’t a good idea but I want him to see it here.

Benadryl is what will help the rash - the rash from poison ivy is actually an allergic reaction and Benadryl is good for that. If Benadryl alone is not giving him relief he should go to a doctor as there are other medications that are even more effective, but some of them require a prescription. They will, however, definitely relieve the misery.

The hand sanitizer could, possibly, irritate the inflamed skin even more.

It’s important to take proper care of the rash because if you don’t there is the possibility of infection. Skin infections suck. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. If the rash isn’t clearly up and it’s been a couple weeks go to a doctor for some help.

I thought this thread was going to be about smearing dialkyl mercury-laced DMSO on doorknobs.

But yeah, like was already said, the urushiol causes the rash. Once you wash that off, there’s no urushiol to spread to others. Just very unhappy skin. The reaction can occur on other parts of your own body, but not from touching the existing rash.

I thought it was going to be an anti-Smuckers rant.

I’ll agree with everyone who said it can no longer be spread once the plant’s oil is washed off. I’ve had poison ivy a lot of times, once or twice where its covered ~80% of my arms. It’s not pleasant. The doctor gave me a combination of cortisone (spelling?) creme and prednisone pills, both of which are supposed to suppress the body’s own immune system (I’m no doctor, ask his if you think he needs this). Apparently the way that poison ivy works is to fool your body into thinking the affected skin is foreign, so your body destroys it itself. I’ve also been told that the reaction to poison ivy gets worse each time you pick it up, I guess because your immune system gets better and better at destroying your own skin.

The first few times I got it the reaction wasn’t serious enough to warrant a visit to the clinic so maybe your boyfriend is ok. The best stuff I’ve used to relieve the itching is those oatmeal baths, followed by lots and lots of calamine lotion. The lotion tends to wear off after a few hours though, so you have to keep reapplying if you want relief.