How To Prevent Poison Ivy Rash

Toxicodendron radicans, or "poison ivy," is a poisonous flora that is widely popular in North America and Asia. Just about everyone has come into contact with the dreaded plant. If you are planning to go on a camping trip this summer, be aware of this plant's appearance. They are commonly green with three leaves, but can also change color in the fall to red or orange.

Here is a phrase to help you remember: "Leaflets three; let it be." If you happen to rub up against poison ivy, follow this man's simple steps to avoid the itchy, red rash that develops. Urushiol is an oil-like chemical in poison ivy that causes the reaction.

Urushiol is particularly problematic because it's invisible and easily transfers from one object to another. For instance, if you're working outdoors and you accidentally touch a piece of poison ivy with a rake, the urushiol will stay on the surface of the rake for days or weeks after making contact. As a result, there's always a possibility that you'll develop a rash just by touching the surface of the rake. 

Jim Brauker, Ph.D. demonstrates how to remove urushiol from your skin using some basic household soap and a damp washcloth. According to him, "You don't get a poison ivy reaction just because you got the poison ivy on your skin, you get it because you didn't effectively get it off your skin." Simply follow his instructions in the video below and you'll never have a poison ivy reaction again. The process is easier than you would imagine.

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