People ask me, can they spread poison ivy on themselves or to the people around them , and the short answer is, no you can’t. When you catch poison ivy, it’s because you’ve touched the plant, you’ve broken the leaf, and the oils from inside the leaf get on your hand, and with your hand, you touch yourself, you touch other places, and that’s how you’ve put the poison ivy on you. But once you wash yourself that day, you’ve washed off those oils from the plant and you can’t spread it any longer. However, all of the spots you touched that day before you washed yourself will develop the rash for the poision ivy, but each successive spot has less oil, takes longer to come out, and that’s why you see the poison ivy coming out over a period of almost ten days. But you’re not spreading it on yourself. It’s already happened before you got washed.