Poison ivy has URUSHIOL. It is an oil that is secreted from the leaves, vines, stems and roots. Should it contact your skin, it forms a bond which causes a severe allergic reaction. The itch is nearly unbearable. Ask me how I know!
(I think I read that poison ivy is in every state except Alaska and Hawaii.)
There are a few little rhymes that might be helpful to remember.
"Leaves of three, let it be".
"Longer middle stem, don't touch them".
(The top leaf tends to stick up a bit from the other two.)
"Hairy Vine, no friend of mine".
(The plant will also be like a vine and the vines are "hairy". Even if the vine looks dead...do not touch it! And don't burn it either, the fumes will send you to the emergency room.)
Sometimes if you are very sensitive, poison ivy can last up to a month. Since I am about at three weeks myself, perhaps I might be in that category.
I ended up going to the doctor and have been on steroids. Unfortunately, I have had a bit of a time with these drugs and sometimes feel shaky, dizzy, woozy, and that is the best of it! Mostly, I feel as if someone has taken me and knocked me against a brick wall. Hey, but at least I am not itching! (Gotta look on the bright side!)
Okay, now if you you ever get something like this...try something that I used, an oatmeal bath!
I think it would be nice for you even if you don't have horrible itchy spots all over you! This is what I did...I took a brown coffee filter bag, filled it with about a third cup of OATMEAL. I tied it at the top tightly with a rubber band and then placed it gently into a very hot bath. (I actually used two of these bags!) Let it "steep" just like a teabag. Let the water cool enough for you to immerse your body into the oatmeal water. (I took the oatmeal bag and rubbed it gently on my poison ivy spots.)
There, it left my skin very soft! Wouldn't it be funny if all the fancy spas did the same exact thing and then quickly remove all traces of their oatmeal/coffee filter bags and place the small candles into the water and then charge you the big bucks? That could be!
Here is one plant that cannot hurt you! It is the coreopsis! We love it.
Hope I can get back into the swing of things soon! I think I need some music...