Topic Overview

The oil (urushiol) that causes the rash from
poison ivy, oak, or sumac can be spread to skin

  • Sporting equipment, such as fishing rods, balls,
    baseball bats and gloves, and hockey sticks.
  • Lawn and garden tools,
    such as lawn mower handles, rakes, and gardening gloves.
  • Clothing,
    shoes, gloves, pants, and footwear that have brushed against the
  • Animal fur. Unlike people, animals do not get a rash when
    exposed to poison ivy. But they can easily carry the oil on their fur, where it
    may be spread to people who touch the animals.
  • Exposure to smoke. Urushiol from burning poison ivy, oak, or sumac attaches to smoke particles and can cause a rash on any part of the body.

Clothing and any other item that may have urushiol on it should be washed thoroughly. Pets who have been in areas containing poison ivy, oak, or
sumac should be washed with pet shampoo to remove any oil from their

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofOctober 5, 2017