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Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Barrier Lotions and Creams Topics

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 dermatitiscamera.gif).

  • 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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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