My wife got poison ivy last week. It’s been driving her nuts. You get it in one little spot on your body, and you scratch. Then it gets moved to another spot, and you scratch some more. Pretty soon, you’re red and itchy everywhere. You’re transferring it around your body by way of your hands, but why don’t you get itchy fingertips or a rash on your fingertips?
It has to do with the thickness of your skin. When a Poison Ivy or Poison Oak plant gets damaged (they’re very fragile and finding an undamaged plant is almost impossible) it releases a an oil called urushiol that will cause the common red, itchy, blistering in about 85% of humans. It has to get under your skin to do so. All the way under your skin. Open pores from being hot and sweaty in the summer are the most common method of entry. Small cuts and scrapes work even better. But the skin on your fingers and hands is much thicker than most other parts of your body, and unless you have the afore-mentioned cut or scrape, it just can’t get through. So it sits on the surface and is transferred elsewhere to work it’s itchy, evil magic.
Learn more about prevention and identification:
Outsmarting Poison Ivy and it’s Cousins