Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy – Wikipedia

Can I exercise if I have poison ivy?  Will sweating spread the rash?  What will stop this insanely awful itch?

These are the questions I ask myself (and Google) as I lie awake trying really hard not to scratch the poison ivy rash I got clearing away weeds from the fence the other day.  Here is what I’ve found:

Can I exercise if I have poison ivy?

The main question here is if poison ivy is contagious by exposure to someone’s rash.  The rash itself is NOT contagious, it’s direct contact with the oil from the plant, called urushiol, that causes the problem.  Once this toxic oil gets on your skin it penetrates it and causes a rash within 12 to 48 hours.  The oil can also be on your clothes.  Water gets rid of the oil, so make sure you wash any clothes (or towels!) exposed.

Will sweating spread the rash?

According to Medline Plus, a service of the US National Library of Medicine, sweating will NOT spread the rash but it WILL aggravate it.  So, stay cool.


The pharmacist at CVS told me to use Calamine lotion and take antihistamine.   (Did that.  Still itchy…)

Here is a natural home remedies link I found: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-poison-ivy2.htm

The article suggested several things, including cold compresses, which I’m trying out now as I type.  (It’s working in the short term.)  My daughter’s Fancy Nancy book mentions jewel-weed, but I have no idea where to find this.

Apparently the rash on my arms will last 1-3 weeks (oh joy).  I’m going to skip the cardio this week to avoid the whole ‘sweat aggravates it’ thing.

Do you have any good poison ivy remedies you’d like to share?


Sheslosingit.net (c) 2012 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

6 responses to “Poison Ivy

  1. I have had poison ivy many times in my life and seem to have a propensity for getting it on my face…there are soaps like Ivarest that really help as do any drying soaps you might have for acne. Keep it dry and oil free, sometimes washing away excess oil multiple times per day…this will cause it to dry up and stop itching much quicker. Good old fashion lye soap work well too

  2. Epson salt baths help a little. I got into some poison ivy last year and it was miserable! I found some calamine lotion that said “plus itch relief” on the bottle, so I used that a lot. Nothing really helped 100% though. 😦 Hope you feel better soon!

  3. Hi! Try rubbing the inside of a banana peel on the ulcers and let the goopy stuff dry on you. It always works for me, though I sometimes have to reapply it every few hours the first day.

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