If your skin touches poison ivy or another plant in the same family, such as poison oak or poison sumac, you may develop a skin rash. The rash occurs as a reaction to urushiol, the oily resin found in the sap of the plant.
Urushiol can also linger on clothing, firewood, or a pet’s fur and then transfer to your skin.
The rash it causes (rhus dermatitis or Toxicodendron dermatitis) is red, itchy, and often marked by red bumps, blisters, and swelling. It can pop up anywhere from four hours to 10 days after exposure and last one to four weeks.
While the rash itself isn’t contagious, if it is not thoroughly washed off, contact with urushiol can spread the resin to someone else. It can also spread to other parts of your body.
This article explains what to do if you come in contact with poison ivy and offers some common home remedies that may offer itch relief.