Helpful Facts and Common Misconceptions

 Many concerns related to Poison Ivy on the MAI trails relate to misinformation about Poison Ivy. Here are some helpful facts and a few notes to address common misconceptions:

You cannot have a reaction to Poison Ivy by simply being “near” it or “looking at” it or “smelling” it. The inflammation from Poison Ivy comes from a secreted oil that will react on your skin. This oil has to come in contact with your skin to have a reaction. There are a few ways to get this reaction:

    • Direct contact of the oil from the plant on your skin. This comes from touching the plant leaves, vines or roots. 

    • Oil can be transferred by contacting something else that has touched the plant. For example if you have walked through a Poison Ivy patch and then scratched your shin through your jeans and then rub your face, you may get a reaction on your face and hands.

Inhaling smoke from a fire where Poison Ivy is being burned can be potentially fatal. This is a very serious condition because it affects your eyes, nasal passages, throat, and lungs: under no circumstances should Poison Ivy ever be burned.

    Oil from Poison Ivy does not evaporate or simply “go away” over time. It remains a threat on anything that it has not been cleaned off of.