Doctor insights on:
Can You Wash Off Poison Ivy
Wash the clothes: Poison ivy allergen, urushiol, is water soluble, and may be easily removed by using household detergent in a wash machine. All clothing must be thoroughly washed to remove the oily substance which is liberated from the plant when its leaves or stems are crushed in handling. ...Read more
Throw them away.: It is the easiest solution as any oil or reside is hard to launder out enough. ...Read more
Cortisone steroids: Steroids are usually needed for poison ivy. A doctor prescribes them after confirming the rash is really the poison oak type. For bad rashes, oral steroids for several days are used (prednisone, prednisolone). For very mild rashes, cortisone creams can be used. A daily aveeno oatmeal bath may help. Claritin or zyrtec each morning, plus a single Benadryl (diphenhydramine) dose at bedtime, can cut down the itching. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Avoid: Poison ivy is a common form of allergic contact dermatitis to the oleoresin of rhus plants. Depending on location and severity of symptoms, mild to potent steroid ointments are usually sufficient. If symptoms are widespread or severe, Prednisone may be needed and tapered over 2-3 weeks. Oatmeal baths and zyrtec (cetirizine) may help. Ultimately best thing is to recognize these plants and avoid them. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Not recommended: Since poison ivy is highly sensitizing, i would not advise it. You will likely tolerate the first exposure but may become allergic to it later. At one time, poison ivy resin drop was used to desensitize patients with poison ivy dermatitis and apparently was well tolerated in small doses. Most people become allergic to poison ivy/oak through skin contact. Is this a dare with money on the table? ...Read more
Bad to worse: Most people develop allergic contact dermatitis to the waxy oil of urushiol that makes up much of the plant resin. It is a delayed-type hypersensitivity that can vary somewhat based on the type/degree of exposure and how allergic the patient is. Over time, lesions can go from dry and red, to bumpy, to huge water blisters (bullae) before they crust over and clear up. The lesions are not contagious. ...Read more
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