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WILD Facts: One itchy situation
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Poison ivy is a woody vine that creeps across the ground and climbs, sometimes growing branches that look like part of a tree.
An oil called urushiol is responsible for the rash that results from touching any part of the plant, regardless of the time of year. The chemical can persist for months and even years.
In case of skin contact, immediately wash with rubbing alcohol or soap and cold water. Skin absorbs the oil in about 15 minutes. Don't use hot water — it can open your pores, allowing urushiol to penetrate more readily. Allergic rashes can develop within hours or a few days.
WILD Facts is written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.

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