Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Barrier Lotions and Creams
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
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
For continued protection, reapply the product every 4
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.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.