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Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac - Topic Overview

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How can you prevent the rash from poison ivy, oak, and sumac?

If you think you have touched any of these plants:

  • Wash your skin right away with plenty of water and mild soap. You might be able to avoid the rash, especially if you wash well within 10 to 15 minutes of contact.
  • Wash any clothing or other items that might have the oil on them. Do it right away.

The best way to prevent future rashes is to learn to identify these plantscamera.gif and avoid them.

When you can't avoid contact with the plants:

  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, and closed shoes to help keep the oil from getting on your skin.
  • Wear vinyl or leather gloves. Rubber (latex), cotton, or wool gloves offer no protection.
  • Use a barrier cream or lotion that contains bentoquatam (such as IvyBlock). It can help keep the oil from coming in contact with your skin.
  • Wash well or throw away anything that came into contact with the plants.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 19, 2013
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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