Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Barrier Lotions and Creams - Topic Overview
If you know you will be working around poison ivy, oak, or sumac, you may think about using a barrier cream or lotion. This will help prevent the plant oil (urushiol) from contacting your skin and causing a rash (allergic contact dermatitis).
- Less than 1 hour before contact with the plant, apply the product in a thick, complete layer.
- Wash the product off thoroughly within 4 hours (preferably as soon as possible) after contact with the plants. The product only delays the penetration of the urushiol.
- For continued protection, reapply the product every 4 hours.
Products containing bentoquatam, such as IvyBlock, may help prevent the rash. These products should not be used on children younger than age 6 or by anyone who already has a rash from the poison ivy, oak, or sumac plants. You can get these products without a prescription.
Barrier creams and lotions do not completely protect against getting a poison ivy rash.