Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Allergies Health Center

Font Size

Scratching Out Poison Ivy Allergy

Scientists Try to Make the Body Immune to Poison Ivy
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 14, 2006 -- Plagued by poison ivy allergy? It might be possible to coax the body to build up immunity to poison ivy.

That news comes from researchers including Mary Morris, MD, of Allergy Associates of La Crosse in La Crosse, Wis.

They studied 115 people with a history of severe skin reactions to poison ivy who were treated at their clinic over the past 15 years.

The treatment was a small amount of poison ivy extract placed under the tongue. The goal was to train the body's immune system not to overreact to poison ivy.

The patients took skin tests to see if the treatment helped.

Those tests showed that after treatment, patients had a much higher threshold for allergic skin reactions to poison ivy.

Ninety percent of the patients said they had "far fewer" skin reaction episodes. Patients who said they still got skin rashes reported milder rashes that were quicker to heal than before treatment.

Further tests are needed. If those tests go well, the treatment may help people whose jobs and hobbies expose them to poison ivy, the researchers note.

The findings were presented in Philadelphia at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology's annual scientific meeting.

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

woman sneezing
Slideshow
Bottle of allergy capsules and daisies
Article
 
Urban blossoms
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Tools
woman with duster crinkling nose
Quiz