Ivy Off, Inc.
poison ivy

Facts & Fiction about poison ivy, oak & sumac

How much do you really know or think you know about poison ivy?
Check out some of the common myths and the facts!



I don't need to worry, I've been around it all my life and I haven't caught it yet.

Over 80% of people are sensitive to the oil of the poison ivy plant urushiol (you-ru-she-all). Even if you've never caught poison ivy before, you may get it for the first time later in life. People often become sensitized through repeated exposures.

I haven't been outdoors in weeks.

Urushiol is not only transmitted through contact with the plant. It is alsoDog transmitted from residue on clothing (especially shoes and laces and pockets) or pet fur (although pets don't get the rash) which may last up to a year or longer.

I know what it looks like. I'll just stay away from it.

It is almost impossible to avoid coming in contact with it when camping, fishing, hiking or hunting. It comes in many forms (ivy, shrub, tree) and in many habitats (wet & dry). You can even get it from a stream or pond after leaves have fallen in. The oil floats on the surface of the water.

Washing thoroughly with soap and water will remove the oil.

Once the oil "locks" onto your tissue (after a few minutes) soap and water is ineffective. Only Ivy Off™ can "unlock" it.

I can only get the rash where I came in contact with the oil. It can't spread after I wash.

The oil spreads through the lymphatic system. The antigen then affixes itself in the skin and underlying tissue. The rash can pop up anywhere on your body.

The rash is gone already. I don't need to worry anymore.

The toxic oil remains in your body and is carried by your lymphatic system and can continue to cause rashes in new areas for some time.

The rash came out already. It's too late to get rid of it.

Although it is best to use Ivy Off™ before the rash erupts, Ivy Off™ unlocks the oil of the poison ivy even after the rash has erupted. Results are immediate. Itching is significantly reduced or eliminated and the rash dries within 24 - 48 hours and is prevented from spreading.

The best thing I can do is use calamine lotion, antihistamine, or hydrocortisone.

These treatments only temporarily relieve the symptoms of the itch and the rash. Ivy Off™ removes the oil that causes the rash allowing the skin to heal.

I heard that if I eat poison ivy leaves, I won't get the rash.

You know what poison ivy does to your skin. Can you imagine what it does to your internal organs? Eating poison ivy can be fatal.

I never go into wooded areas.

Poison ivy may be growing in your own backyard. There is a good chance when you garden or weed-whack the perimeter of your yard, the oil of the shredded leaves will come in contact with your skin. It can also be found in commercial mulch. These leaves may remain in your yard for years.

I used Round-Up™ (herbicide) to kill it.

Poison ivy is a very tenacious plant. It sends out runners which often allow it to emerge in a new location.

It's January. There's snow on the ground. How did I get this rash?

FireplaceEven in winter you may contract poison ivy from touching wood you use to burn in the fireplace. The wood may be long dead but the urushiol remains active for up to several years. What's more, burning the wood may actually carry the allergen to your skin or you may even inhale it with the smoke and ash. It has been known to cause respiratory distress. If this happens, see a physician immediately.

I heard that using a poison ivy block or barrier cream before coming in contact with the plant will prevent me from getting the rash.

Poison ivy blocks and barrier creams may not work in the real world. There is no way to prevent the poison ivy oil from contaminating your clothing, shoes, backpack, bedding, gear, etc. (You must eventually undress.) It only works for a limited time before reapplication is necessary. (Maximum 4 hours from application under ideal laboratory conditions, sweating or swimming significantly reduces its effective time.)

My doctor recommended steroids for my rash.

Steroids are known to have many long-lasting harmful side effects. In addition, they only suppress the symptoms (itching, rash, swelling). The irritant remains in your body and the rash often reappears long after the steroids have worn off.