What causes poison ivy?

As one of the most unpleasant rashes you can contract from the great outdoors, poison ivy requires a vigilant approach to ensure prevention. It is recommended to know the appearance of the plant and take care not to touch it while hiking or gardening. While hiking and gardening are the most common means of contact, this is a plant that can strike anywhere it is allowed to take root. Even with knowing what to look for and taking extra precautions, the causes of poison ivy can still attack almost anyone. When it comes to poison ivy, both the plant and the rash that shares the name, knowing the causes may help you avoid an unwanted encounter. 

One of the main causes of poison ivy rash is obviously coming in contact with the poison ivy plant itself. Whether the leaves, stems, roots or berries, any contact with this plant will result in painful itching and burning irritation, as well as uncomfortable blisters. Direct contact will almost always result in the poison ivy rash unless taking a supplement.

Another one of the causes of poison ivy rash is the indirect contact method. Every poisonous plant has powerful oils. With poison ivy plants, that oil is potent enough to remain active for years. If your jacket brushed up against poison ivy and oil was left behind, you could develop the poison ivy rash by simply touching the jacket. 

The third, less likely but still possible, cause of poison ivy rash is when the plant is burned, either on purpose to try to kill the plant or by accident from a brush fire. When poison ivy is inhaled it can lead to painful irritation of the nasal passages, throat, and lungs. It is never recommended to burn poison ivy because of the danger it poses to people. Even if the fire is in a somewhat contained area, the smoke can travel for miles and affect anyone who breathes it unknowingly.

When looking to prevent poison ivy rash, a good method is to simply stay away from plants you suspect are poisonous. However, it is easy to make a careless mistake. The best bet is to arm yourself with a powerful reduction in sensitivity builder to prevent outbreaks.

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