Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Barrier Lotions and Creams
If you know you will be working around Reference poison ivy, oak, or sumac Opens New Window, 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 Reference contact dermatitis Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window).
- 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.Reference 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.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 30, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine