Poison ivy contains oil called urushiol. When this oil touches the skin many people develop an allergic reaction in the form of an itchy rash. Allergic reaction seldom occurs the first time urushiol touches the skin, but with repeated exposure sensitivity develops. Sensitivity to poison ivy varies and tends to decline with age. If an allergic reaction develops, wash the skin with lukewarm water and soap. If the reaction is severe, contact a dermatologist as a prescription medication might be needed to reduce the swelling and itch.
To Prevent Poison Ivy
- Recognize and avoid contact with the plant
- Wear long pants, long sleeves, boots, and gloves when it is not possible to avoid the plant
- Apply an over-the-counter skin barrier product that contains bentoquatum before going outdoors. Bentoquatum helps prevent urushiol from penetrating the skin