Poison ivy is often considered a nuisance in the landscape, because people can suffer a severe allergic reaction by simply touching the plant. A benign-looking member of the cashew family, poison ivy contains a chemical called urushiol, which can cause a red, itchy, blister-like rash for many individuals sensitive to its harmful effects. Although poison ivy can be difficult to eradicate, with some care and preparation the plant can be killed without suffering an allergic reaction.
Apply a topical over-the-counter medication such as bentoquatum to skin before coming in contact with poison ivy. Bentoquatum creates a barrier and blocks urushiol from penetrating skin.
Cover as much exposed skin as possible. A long-sleeved shirt, full-length pants and garden gloves will help protect skin from coming in contact with any harmful chemicals in the plants.
Trim poison ivy plants to 6 inches or less in length, and then carefully remove the foliage from the area.
Spray trimmed poison ivy with glyphosate -- a chemical found in most garden centers and local nurseries -- according to the instructions listed on its container.
Remove clothing after working with poison ivy. Prevent the outside of your clothing, which may have come in contact with poison ivy, from touching any part of your skin.
Shower immediately. Urushiol is generally absorbed into the skin within three minutes of contact. Washing with soap and water can prevent or lessen a reaction if any of the poison ivy's harmful chemicals accidentally came in contact with skin.
Thoroughly wash all contaminated clothing.