From an early age we are taught that certain things need to be avoided in life, and poison ivy should always be at the top of the list of plants to stay far away from. Anyone who spends a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors, whether they’re hiking, working, playing, gardening, or the like, needs to be aware of what poison ivy plants look like. That way when they spot it they can give it a wide berth and avoid the painful, itchy rashes that it can cause. The terrible rashes caused by poison ivy are never a laughing matter. At a minimum they are itchy and uncomfortable but some people suffer severe reactions and develop blisters that can leave scars or even worse. Tolerance for poison ivy varies from one person to the next, some of us may never experience a reaction to it while others break out without even coming into direct contact with the plant. The nasty rashes are specifically caused by urushiol, an oily chemical resin that is found in the plant’s stems and leaves. Anything that comes into contact with urushiol picks it up and this is why the rash has the potential to spread so easily. Many times people don’t need to actually touch the plant because other items do, and so when you touch them the oil gets transferred to your skin. For example, if you drive over poison ivy the oil gets on your car tires, then if you touch the tires it gets on your hands and skin, and from there whatever else you touch may end up with urushiol oil on it. Other than tires, the most common items that get contaminated are things like rakes, gardening tools, chainsaws, shoes, and clothing. While the best way to prevent a poison ivy rash is to avoid the plant in the first place, that’s obviously not always possible! If and when you ever come into contact with it down the line, you need to know this simple trick that can save you a lot of pain and suffering. The information that scientist and wildlife enthusiast Jim Brauker covers will help to minimize the risks and cut down on the odds of you developing the dreaded rash. As you can see in the video, he is actually holding the plant with his bare hands which means there is definitely urushiol all over them. However, he won’t get a rash because he knows the secret to stopping the toxic oil in its tracks.