Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac are all plants that can cause painful and itchy reactions when they come in contact with skin.

2,012 Questions
Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Can you get poison oak from another person?

No, you only get the poison from the plant.

All three plants have an oil that if it still is on the person or clothes, then yes you can. Once a person has shed their clothes and taken a shower, the oil is gone and and you can't spread the rash. Some people get poison ivy from their pets, if their pets have gotten the oil on their fur.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Are poison sumac berries red?


Poison sumac has green or white berries. Good sumac has red berry clusters. You can take the red clusters, and crush then steep in cold water, then strain through cheesecloth to make a lemonade-flavored beverage, called "sumac-ade" or "Indian lemonade". MMM MMM good.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

How many people are allergic to poison ivy?

Roughly 85%

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Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Name something in the woods that may be poisonous?

snake, ivy and mushrooms

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Can you work out with poison oak?

although heating your body during a workout will most likely cause the rash to become irritated and itch, it can not spread it since you can only develop a rash from the plant oils urushiol.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Can billy goat and fainting goats eat poison ivy?

Poison ivy is a favorite food of most goats.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

What is the difference between poison oak and poison ivy?

Poison oak and poison ivy, along with poison sumac all belong to the cashew family, Anacardiaceae. All three contain an oil that actually is a resin called urushiol that causes an allergic reaction (contact dermatitis) when it comes into direct contact with the skin of most people. Urushiol can also be transferred from other people, dogs and other pets, and clothing, tools or garden gloves if you touch them where they have the oils holding the resin on them.

Poison oak and poison Ivy are similar in appearance in that they each have a 3-leaf pattern. Poison Ivy grows as a shrub, bush or vine. The older vines, even if they have no leaves on them, can still hold resins. So, avoid touching older vines that look like they have "hairs" (aerial rootlets) on them. The stems attached to the leaves when younger often appear red. They also contain the urushiol. The ivy blooms in early spring. Once the flowers are pollinated, they produce small green berries that turn a creamy white in autumn.

Poison oak grows as a bush. The leaves of western poison oak may resemble oak tree leaves. Poison oak tends to be more prominent growing in the western half of the US, where as poison ivy is commonly found growing east of the Mississippi, and along most of the eastern and southern tier coastal regions and inland in most arboreal forests.

Treating poison ivy:

A less known "cure" for poison ivy is the "juice" of rhubarb stems. Like when using aloe vera, you break open the stalk and rub the viscous sap onto the area of the rash. It was suggested by an old Indiana farmer and, having used it (and nearly every commercial product and home remedy known to man) to stop the itch and dry up the rash from poison ivy, it is the best remedy found. It cools, soothes, stops the itch immediately, and then dries up the rash after only one or two applications.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

What does a poison ivy rash look like on a dog?

How does a rash on dog look like after Poinson Ivy

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Poison ivy adaptations?

It has toxins that that prevent insects from feeding off of it. It also has strong roots that make this plant hard to get rid of.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

What is the best way to find a professional to remove poison ivy plants?

Call a tree removel service. They will have the know how. You can spray the poison ivy with Roundup and save yourself a considerable amount of money. After the plants totally die (about 2 weeks) do not touch or burn the leaves as they will still have the poison ivy oil on them. Handle only with gloves.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

How can you find someone who has Poison Sumac Toxicodendron vernix growing wild who would be willing to sell some plants?

Poison Sumac grows wild in the eastern one-third of the United States and Texas, Louisiana, and Minnesota. If you live in one of those states, you might be able to find someone who has it growing wild and would let you remove it for free. Since it is both poisonous and invasive (spreads relentlessly), most people would be happy to have it removed.

Gardenweb.com has a plant exchange bulletin board. Many helpful gardeners will share their plants.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

What are adaptations that help poison oak survive?

Obviously, the poison! To brush up against this plant, or to eat this plant will certainly help in the plants survival as the organism that has had an encounter with this plant will not want one in the future.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Can poison ivy kill you if it's on your arm?

Unless you have a severe allergic reaction, poison ivy will not kill you. It's just extremely annoying and aggravating.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Can cats get poison oak on the pads of their feet?


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Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Is there a natural chemical to kill ivy?

Enough salt would do it, but nothing would grow there afterward. That's pretty "natural". Use a little "Roundup" and it will dissipate within a week. It may not be natural, but once it breaks down there isn't really much left to cause concern. Boiling water poured on the area where the ivy goes into the ground should do the trick without leaving the area barren. Renae in MD

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Can someone get poison ivy twice?

Yes, I have gotten it twice.

The first time took about a week to become visible and the 2nd time it took a few days.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Can fluocinonide be used on poison ivy?

Yes, my physician just prescribed Fluocinonide .05% cream for a poison ivy outbreak on my arms. You are not supposed to use it more than 2 times a day and it can not be used on your face or genitals.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Is poison ivy contagious?

Poison Ivy is not contagious. It cannot be spread from person to person. It spreads by the oils from the plant. If you do not clean your skin well after contact or if you come into contact with clothes, garden tools, etc. that still have the oil on them, you can break out in other places. Even a weeping rash will not spread the rash to other places of your body, as long as you have cleaned your skin thoroughly after contact with the plant's oils.

Sometimes the poison ivy appears to be spreading, because it first appears in a small area then appears in more areas over time. But it is not actually spreading, it just takes awhile for your entire body to react. The first time you get it, it takes longest for your body to react. Each time after that will take less and less time between exposure and reaction.

The oil can stay active on clothes, garden tools, dead plants, etc. for up to five years.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

What does poison ivy look like on your skin?

Poison ivy causes severe itching that develops into reddish colored inflammation or non-colored bumps, and then blistering.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Can dogs get poison ivy?

Can dogs get poison ivy? They can, but thankfully, dogs don't seem to get poison ivy nearly as commonly as humans. Thanks to their long, protective hair coat, the oils from poison ivy just can't reach the skin. Unfortunately, these oils can be spread from Itchy Izzy to you. Use caution when hiking through poison ivy with Izzy and avoid petting her immediately after. If you bring a towel, dry wipe her off after hiking (while wearing gloves!). Often you can minimize the likelihood of her transmitting these oils to you. If itchy Izzy has short hair and does get poison ivy, try bathing her in a colloidal oatmeal shampoo - they have them for dogs too!

Material from It's a Dog's Life... but It's Your Carpet, available at amazon.com. More information available at www.drjustinelee.com Copyright © 2008 Justine Lee Veterinary Consulting, LLC.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Does poison ivy grow in France?

Yes, be careful.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Why does poison ivy or oak itch?

Poision ivy has an oil on its leaves that when they come in contact with our skin, it makes a chemical burn or rash. Poision oak has a pollen that when magnified, looks like a porcupine and when it makes contact with our skin, the skin will expand around the pollen and make a small liquid filled environment to contain the pollen. Both of these are the plants natural defenses. The poison oak is more contageous if it has little clusters of white berries on it. Also because G-D said so! it should also get bubbly and gross. the bubbles might look like pizza. speaking of pizza i love pizza. I wonder if poison ivy like pizza.

This is completely wrong. First of all it is POISON ivy not poision. Poison Ivy and oak both contain urishiol oil that binds to the proteins on the keratin layer of our skin. While the oil is completely harmless; our immune systems become confused resulting in 90% of humans responding with an allergic reaction. Patrolling T cells recognize it as an allergen and release lymph fluid over the affected skin cells in an attempt to rid the skin of the oil. In the process many skin cells are killed, affecting nerve cells and causing us to itch in response. It is not a defense mechanism (how would a delayed allergic reaction - sometimes 3 to 5 days after initial contact - in any way defend the plant?), and actually the only part of poison ivy that doesn't contain the oil, is the pollen.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

What is poison ivy?

Poison Ivy is a type of plant that when you touch it , that place of your body will be itchy. You can stop it by buying Calamine ( Ferric Oxide.) Lotion. You can buy the lotion at local stores.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

How long are you protected from poison ivy after taking steroids?

The short answer is that you are not protected. While steroids may be used to reduce inflammation and itching associated with poison ivy, this treats only the symptoms and does nothing to prevent repeated contact from uroshiol causing poison ivy again.

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

How do you remove poison ivy vines from fence posts?

There are several chemicals available that will kill poison ivy. Check with your local lawn and garden store to see what they recommend. Ivy is a woody stem plant and normal weed killer like 2-4-D will only make the leaves drop off but not kill it. 2-4-5-T will kill it, but I don't know if you can even buy that now. They also have ground sterilizers (Round Up or Pramatol) that kill every plant they touch and sometimes prevent anything from growing for years when sprayed on the ground around posts. Don't try burning it because if you breathe the smoke, you will have worse problems than you will care to deal with. Even contact with the smoke on your skin can cause problems. I don't recommend bothering to use chemicals to kill the plant because the dead ivy still needs to be removed and dead poison ivy is still poisonous. Plus it will still continue to return because the roots are still present. The best way to rid your area of poison ivy is to remove it, root and all. The following is from Mike McGrath at GardensAlive web site: 1. Apply "Ivy Block" lotion to your hands, face, ankles, wrists, etc. This clay-based product forms a protective barrier against the plant's dreaded allergenic oil. Available at drug stores and direct from the manufacturer at www.ivyblock.com (some good basic poison ivy info at that site too) or toll free 1-800-421-1223. 2. Wait until right after (or even better, DURING) a heavy rain. Or soak the area THOROUGHLYwith a hose or sprinkler. Weeds in wet soil pull out mucheasier. 3. Put on heavy boots, protective goggles, long pants and shirt. Then get a helper who will work at your side, and do The Plastic Bag Dance… 4. The PBD: Gather up lots of big, heavy plastic mall shopping bags; not the thinner supermarket varieties-we want bags from real classy stores here. Slip a bag over each hand, locate where a vine enters the soil and pull s-l-o-o-o-o-w-l-y with one of your bagged hands; the vine should come right up for you. If it resists, have your helper soak the soil around the base of the vine with a garden hose. Don't YOU (the puller) touch ANYTHING-especially your face! When you get the root (or the vine finally snaps), fold the bag in your other hand back over the ivy, and then drop the vine and both the bags that are now around it into a trashcan. Don't re-use your 'hand bags'; start with fresh ones every time. 5. When you're finished, have your helper open all doors for you. Then go straight to the washer, strip, and put all your clothes in the wash (by themselves) and run them thru a cold water cycle. Then you get right in the shower and wash with cool water. No soap; no washcloth. Water dissolves the allergenic oil; soap and cloth can spread it to other, perhaps more sensitive, areas. Yes, exactly the areas you're thinking about now-so don't cheat! THEN take a regular shower. 6. Next day, go back to where any roots escaped and either: A. Suit up, bag up, excavate the area with a shovel and get them (perhaps GIANT) roots out of the ground; or B. 'Mulch' those spots with heavy carpet, metal sheeting, or something equally impenetrable 7. Then pay close attention to the areas you've eliminated. Immediately pull any new sprouts (again, using bags-NEVER gloves!) or spray them with herbicidal soap or a vinegar-based organic herbicide; or soak the spot with straight white vinegar. Then keep an eye out for new plants sprouting up-thanks to the birds that love to eat those pretty berries, there will always be fresh vines for you to pull.


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