There are several lotions and creams on the market that remove urushiol oil from the skin and can prevent further spreading of the rash if oil remains, or even prevent the rash entirely if applied early enough following exposure.
It is possible for children who are highly reactive to urushiol to grow into adults who are barely sensitive to poison ivy, oak, or sumac, regardless of how many times they have been exposed to the plant oil.
Pets are typically not sensitive to urushiol, but a dog or cat that seems to be experiencing symptoms of poison plant rash following exposure should be taken to the veterinarian for assessment.
Tecnu, IvyStat, IvyCleanse) can also stop or lessen the severity of a rash if they are applied early enough following exposure (i.e., before the urushiol begins penetrating the skin).
Most children will not get a rash the very first time they are exposed to poison ivy, oak, or sumac, although this is when the sensitivity, or immune response, to urushiol develops.
Not everyone acquires an allergic sensitivity to urushiol, but in those that do, the next time they are exposed to the plant and urushiol penetrates the skin, a rash is inevitable.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an estimated 85 percent of the population is allergic to the urushiol oil found in poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
A full body shower is best to eliminate all traces of the urushiol and prevent re-exposure from undetected oil remaining on other parts of the body.
If urushiol enters the respiratory tract, which typically happens when the plant is burned and the smoke is breathed in, it can be life threatening.
There are several topical skin creams on the market that contain bentoquatum, which forms a protective barrier designed to repel urushiol oil (e.g.