How do you get poison ivy?

While many people of all ages love spending time in the great outdoors, there are a few possible dangers to be vigilant of at all times, from wild animals to rash-inducing plants. Poison ivy is one of the worst offenders during active seasons. How do you contract poison ivy? It is easier than you may think. You may think that as long as you stay aware of plants while hiking or gardening, you will be mostly able to prevent an encounter. However, poison ivy can be one of the sneakiest culprits affecting people who do not even remember coming in contact with the plant. In order to limit your exposure to the dangerous plant, it is imperative to know the answer to the question of “how do you contract poison ivy?’

Direct Touch

The most common way to contract poison ivy is by directly touching the plant, whether leaves, stems, roots, or the berries. Even with minimal contact, the power of poison ivy can be strong enough to elicit the painful rash associated with exposure. While you may think you may be on high alert when in areas such as the woods, poison ivy can grow nearly anywhere, including near the sidewalks of popular places. Keep an eye out no matter where you are for this poisonous plant.

Indirect Contact

Even if you did not come into direct contact, it is still possible to develop a painful rash by proxy. The oils emitted from poisonous plants can retain potency even in trace amounts. If you stepped in the oils unknowingly and then touch your shoes, you can develop a rash. If someone else has poison ivy oil on their skin or clothes and you come in contact, you are vulnerable to the effects of having touched the plant yourself.


While it considered unsafe and not a recommended method, some people will attempt to burn poison ivy plants to rid their property of them. Whether from an irresponsible neighbor or a nearby brush fire, inhaling the vapors of burning poison ivy opens you up to developing complications. This type of contraction is especially painful as it will affect the sensitive areas of the nasal passages and lungs.

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