Poison ivy is a widespread rash, very common in the US. One of the questions people ask is how contagious it is. For some reason, there are also worries about swimming with poison ivy. Can you go to a swimming pool with poison ivy? Find out in this article.
Can You Go Swimming With Poison Ivy?
If you have poison ivy, swimming does not put you or others in danger. Poison ivy does not spread that way, and swimming will ease you. The oil that causes poison ivy breaks down when it is in contact with water.
What if the swimming pool has poison ivy? Getting poison ivy that way is slim unless the swimming pool is full of poison ivy. Let us see a little into poison ivy. A good understanding of what poison ivy is and how it spreads will help you quickly understand this much better.
What is Poison Ivy?
It is a vine, and it has three glossy leaves. It is found majorly in Asia and the US. The victim will have an itchy red rash. You need to understand that not everyone is susceptible to poison ivy. Some might not contract it even after coming in contact with the poison ivy. It is claimed that only about 15% of people are not susceptible to poison ivy.
Stick with me as we learn more about this poison ivy, how it spreads, what causes it, and how it can be stopped.
What Is The Cause of Poison Ivy?
The cause of poison ivy is urushiol. Once you are exposed or come in contact with this oil, you are at the risk of poison ivy. You can find this oil on the poison ivy tree. The leaves, the stems, and the tree’s roots all contain this oil. Other trees like poison oak and poison sumac can also have this oil resin.
You contract poison ivy by coming in contact with urushiol, which is visible when you get a rash – an itchy one. It gets red and blisters due to this. Don’t expect that to see the rash immediately you contact the oil. It might take a while, even up to several days after.
How Does A Poison Ivy Rash Spread?
Different from what you might be thinking, poison ivy can’t spread from person to person via contact like a handshake, touches, etc. The poison ivy can only spread via other means, which I will talk about.
1. Through animal
If you have a pet like a cat or a dog, and they by any means have urushiol staying on their fur, and you touch them with the oil them. You are at the risk of getting poison ivy. Direct contact with the oil causes poison ivy. With this means, you contact the oil directly.
2. Through clothes
This works like the animal fur that I talked about above. Clothes can aid the contracting of poison ivy. If a piece of clothing has a part of it soaked in the oil, you might get poison ivy if you don’t wash the clothes before wearing it again.
It might not even be your clothes. You might happen to touch the clothing of someone who has the oil on their clothing.
3. Through outdoor tools
Probably you have the trees that poison ivy in your garden, and you are working on them. You might get poison ivy through the tools you used while working. The oil sure will be on the tools if you contact the tools without washing them. You might be at risk of poison ivy.
4. Through your recreational equipment
Equipment like your skating board, golf club, bicycles, etc., can be a medium for poison ivy. In one way or the other, these things might have contacted the oil resin during use.
It is hard having foreknowledge of this. You might not even know you have poison ivy till days after.
These means are to buttress the point that to contact the poison ivy, you need to have direct contact with the poison ivy oil. It is not transmitted from person to person via touch.
Is It Possible It Spread Through Out My Body?
You might be wondering if the rash has the possibility of spreading over your body. As earlier established, direct contact with poison ivy oil causes the rash. It won’t spread through your body because of touch. The only area affected will be spots contacted by the oil.
If you see the rashes developing in new places, this is not because they spread there. It is because the rash just developed there. The spots might have gotten poison ivy days before it develops.
How To Stop Poison Ivy?
Yes, I understand your worry. You can stop the poison ivy. There are ways you can go about that.
- Once you find out that you came in contact with poison ivy, wash with soap and warm water.
- Also, ensure to wash all your clothes. You can’t be so sure if the oil is still on your clothes. So, make sure to wash them before using them again.
- Frequently bath your pets if you feel that they might have poison ivy oil.
- If you work in a garden with this poison ivy vine, ensure that you wash the instruments you worked with well. You should also sterilize them with alcohol or spirit.
I hope this has given a detailed answer about going into a swimming pool with poison ivy. If the poison ivy persists, you should visit a doctor.
To help us get to a direct answer, I had to walk us through ways by which poison ivy can spread, and you can see that the swimming pool is not a medium by which the oil can spread from person to person. Swimming in a pool should even be a relief to the victim of poison ivy.