Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Tips for Washing
If you have contact with
poison ivy, oak, or sumac, immediately wash areas of
the skin that may have touched the plant. Sometimes the resulting rash
(contact dermatitis) can be completely avoided by
washing the affected areas with plenty of water and soap (such as dishwashing soap) or rubbing alcohol. Rinse often, so that the soap or rubbing alcohol doesn't dry on the skin and make the rash worse. Use creek or stream water if you are outdoors.
Urushiol can remain active on clothing and other items for many
months, especially in dry climates. If these items are not cleaned properly,
handling them can spread the urushiol to the skin and possibly cause a rash.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 5, 2016
Current as of:
February 5, 2016
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.