Can poison ivy spread person to person?

Last night at poker the discussion came up that a worker at one of the player’s house was afraid of some poison ivy.  I said I did not blame the worker because late in life I have developed a severe allergy to it.  The guy next to me (you know who you are Roland), jesting said something to the effect of “watch out, I have poison ivy”  and rubbed his hand on my  hand.  Not in a gay way, it was a manly manner.  I thought nothing further of it and continued to dominate the table until leaving with a $2,400 win (I won’t mention what happened at last week’s game).

Lo and behold I awoke this morning with what appears to be poison ivy reaction on my hand right where he rubbed his hand against mine.  Damn you urushiol!   All the websites that I searched pooh-poohed the idea of it spreading person to person unless the poison ivy had never been washed off the original person’s hand.  All I know is that my left hand appears to be having a reaction, and I have not been around ivy.  I haven’t had a reaction to it in several years because I am careful.  What up?

John Doe

5 responses to “Can poison ivy spread person to person?

  1. Think it might be “psycho-somatic”? Your friend put the thought in your head and now you have it. Better watch it next poker night. He’ll put losin’ in yer brain. 😉

  2. Lipton T. Bagg

    There used to be a story around my high school about two kids that unknowingly engaged in “personal exploration” while sitting on poison ivy.

    Never proven or disproven but I damn sure never put down a towel or other seating surface without looking carefully…


  3. Dunno. It IS dark purple, almost like a burn. And I would think that for it to be psychowhatever, I would have been concerned bout it happening. I never thought a thing about it until the next morn when there it was. I suppose it is possible that something else happened to cause it, but it sure was coincidental…

  4. The reaction is set off by oil on the plant leaves. If you already have a hypersensitivity to it and he has ANY oil residue on his hand, you could get a reaction. I would treat it aggressively!

  5. Everything yah ever wanted to know about …poison ivy and probably more; can be found here…

    The oil from poison ivy is extremely stable and will stay potent – essentially forever. You can get a rash from clothing or tools that have the oil from last summer, or even from many years back.

    So if you don’t remove the oil by washing, using alcohol to dissolve it, or by just hosing off with a hard spray from a hose – assume it will stay forever…

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