Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Information Center

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How it spreads...

Subject: How it spreads...
Author: Bill C
Date: 3/22/2010 1:12 pm
Views: 3325
Status: Approved
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While perusing your site looking for potential itch remedies, I noted the following listed in your Fast Facts as a fact:

Rubbing the rashes won't spread poison ivy to other parts of your body (or to another person). You spread the rash only if urushiol oil -- the sticky, resinlike substance that causes the rash -- has been left on your hands.

My doctor has pretty much said the same thing.

History:
I have been battling poison oak on my property for a number of years, eradicating newly found patches every spring. These new patches are usually found while cutting felled or fallen trees, leading to a rash forming on my forearms or wrists from contact beneath my gloves. I always shower right after cutting wood as precaution and if I am aware of the contact (and always after eradication efforts), an aggressive effort is made to clean any areas of potential contact with body soap, and then to fully clean my skin in general.

Experience:
After contracting a rash, if I allow that rash to rest against exposed skin for prolonged periods on another part of my body, the rash will transfer to the contacted area. I tend to sleep with my arms in the same place most of the time. If I don't cover the rash, I consistently experience transfer to my torso after a few days, exactly where my arms (and rash) rest while sleeping.

Questions:
Do others experience this?
Is there another agent of transfer?
Is typical hand and body soap inadequate for cleaning after exposure?

I'm just curious if I'm missing something. Any comments would be appreciated.

SubjectAuthorDate
How it spreads... (Approved)Bill C3/22/2010 1:12 pm
  Re: How it spreads... (Approved)Devin4/20/2010 1:02 am