"Leaves Three, Quickly Flee, Leaves Five, Stay and Thrive."
Or maybe you learned: "Leaves of Three, Let it Be" or maybe "Hairy Vine, no friend of mine" . . in any case the advice is well taken. Unless you're in the fortunate 15% of the population that isn't affected by poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) or its cousins, poison oak (T. diversilobum) and poison sumac (T. vernix) . They all contain an oil, urushiol (pronounced oo-roo-shee-ohl) that can cause rashes, blisters and itching within a few hours or up to 2 weeks that may look like this. .
The best defence and cure for poison ivy is, of course, to avoid it, so learn how to recognize the plants and be aware that they can grow as vines or shrubs. They can be spotted by their characteristic cluster of three pointed leaves. The leaves are shiny and the berries are green/yellow in color. Recognition is of particular importance for those people who love to be out in the countryside, camping and hiking. As a regular camper and hiker, you should already know that going into the great outdoors makes you fair game for a myriad of stinging insects as well as noxious plants like the poison ivy. If you are uncertain as to whether you will come across the plant or not, wear protective clothing, and if you are caught off guard, try to rinse off the affected area as quickly as possible to rid yourself of the plant’s toxic resin.