A person can develop a sensitivity to the poison ivy/oak/sumac family at any time, even if they haven't had prior breakouts. I've known people who've thought for YEARS they weren't allergic to it, then BOOM! suddenly they have encountered it and have the telltale itchy rash with blisters. The poison ivy/oak/sumac plants look VERY different at different stages of growth, and this time of year after its leaves are gone, it may only be a hairy-looking vine twining around trees or shrubs. Many people never realize they've touched it. The oil is in the leaves, bark, roots, and hairs on the plant and can be transferred to your shoes/boots, socks, jeans, jacket, or anything else you're wearing or have touched, including on your pets' fur. Washing with hot soapy water within 10-15 minutes of the initial exposure can usually prevent a rash, but after that, the urushiol oil (which causes the reaction) has had time to penetrate the skin. If you do cleanup around your place and cut out any brushy growth you're not sure of the type, do NOT burn it!! The urushiol oil goes up with the smoke and can cause the same reaction INSIDE YOUR LUNGS that it causes on the skin. If the skin rash doesn't clear up soon, use hydrocortisone ointment and/or calamine lotion or Aveeno like debi raymond suggested. If it hasn't gotten markedly better soon, you may need a round of steroids taken internally such as a Medrol / methylprednisolone dose-pak, or even an injection. I have a good friend who thought he wasn't allergic to it. He went hunting, had some contact with it, and ended up hospitalized over it. Poison oak/ivy/sumac is not a good thing to mess with if you're not very, VERY careful. My condolences on your itchiness!
- Still chillin' with my peeps