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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 (Ivy Block) have been shown to be highly effective in preventing the rash and reducing its severity.1 Ivy Block 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. Other products that may help protect against a rash include Hollister Moisture Barrier, Hydropel, and IvyX. You can get these products without a prescription.

Barrier creams and lotions do not completely protect against getting a poison ivy rash.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 30, 2011
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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