Contagious Nature of a Poison Ivy Rash
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Developing a rash from poison ivy surely puts a damper on your summer fun. But how does that rash find its way to body parts that never came in contact with that pesky plant? Is the rash contagious? Can you spread it to your friends? Dr. Schultz will get to the truth about poison ivy.


Dr. Neal Schultz: Hello, I'm Dr. Neal Schultz and welcome to DermTV. People ask me, can they spread poison ivy on themselves or to the people around them and the short answer is no you can't. When you catch poison ivy, it's because you've touched the plant, you've broken the leaf and the oils from inside the leaf get on your hand and with your hand, you touch yourself, you touch other places, and that's how you've put the poison ivy on you. But once you wash yourself that day, you've washed off those oils from the plant and you can't spread it any longer. However, all of the spots you touched that day before you washed yourself will develop the rash for the poison ivy, but each successive spot has less oil, takes longer to come out and that's why you see the poison ivy coming out over a period of almost ten days, but you're not spreading it on yourself. It's already happened before you got washed. Please join me again at If you have a question please send me by visiting I'm Dr. Neal Schultz and thank you for watching today.