Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Barrier Lotions and Creams

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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 dermatitis).

Barrier products (such as Ivy X Pre-Contact Skin Solution) come in lotions, sprays, or towelettes. You put the product on your skin right before you go outdoors.

If you did not use a preventive product and you have had contact with plant oil, clean it off your skin with an after-contact product as soon as possible. These products, such as Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser, can also be used to clean plant oil from clothing or tools.

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

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofApril 26, 2016