Depending on the severity, poison ivy can be treated by over the counter medications such as benadryl. Most cases require prescription strength topical cortisone cream or even prednisone by mouth. Poison ivy can be contagious and can spread by person to person contact. Wash your hands frequently and avoid scratching the affected area(s) to prevent it from spreading.
Wash with mild soap and water - the sooner the better. After it's already blistered, some people say that Calamine lotion helps. Others say it doesn't. Leave it uncovered - try not to spread it to other areas of your body or to someone else. Advice to be taken at your own risk:
Apply bleach (Chlorox) diluted 1:1 with water. Start with a test area using more water with the bleach in case of sensitivity.
Poison Ivy has a naturally secreted oil called Urushiol by the Japanese. It can be spread but the weeping reaction of your skin is NOT contagious. However, the oil secreted by poison ivy is insideous and pervasive. You must vigorously wash your self and your clothing to remove its traces. The amount of Urushiol oil on the head of a pin can cause thousands of blisters and it can lay dormant in dead poison ivy plant systems for years.
Prevention from assumed exposures is to frequently rinse exposed skin and change clothing often, also considering ivy blocker products.
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