1 doctor weighed in:

Can I spread a poison ivy rash by scratching?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dermatology

In brief: Poison ivy

You cannot spread poison ivy rash by scratching.
Poison ivy is a haptin meaning a small molecule. It must bind skin tissue to form an allergic reaction. Once it binds to skin, poison ivy does not come off so it can not be transferred to you or another person. Poison ivy rash is contracted by contact with the oil, urushiol.

In brief: Poison ivy

You cannot spread poison ivy rash by scratching.
Poison ivy is a haptin meaning a small molecule. It must bind skin tissue to form an allergic reaction. Once it binds to skin, poison ivy does not come off so it can not be transferred to you or another person. Poison ivy rash is contracted by contact with the oil, urushiol.
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