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 contact dermatitis).
- 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.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||August 30, 2011|
Last Revised: August 30, 2011
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