Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Repost -- Poison Ivy Warning

This is a repost of last year’s “poison ivy warning” with a few changes.  Enjoy your walks and play time outdoors, but be careful.

 

 

I love to walk in the woods with my dog. I am lucky to have a neighbor who has a trail through her woods around her pond that she encourages us to use. This time of year I have to watch out for poison ivy. In the picture here you can see the poison ivy (leaves of three) intermingled with some Virginia Creeper (five leaves). I find both very pretty.

However, to the poison ivy I tend to react like this (photo credit):

If you are like me, then you may wish to check out this product, Zanfel, that Dr Paul Auerbach wrote about recently (photo credit).

Zanfel™ is a soap mixture of ethoxylate and sodium lauroyl sarcosinate surfactants. When "activated" (worked into a paste that can be spread effectively on the skin), the soap is able to bind urushiol and thus allow it to be removed from the skin by rinsing.
Zanfel™ is unique with respect to poison ivy/oak/sumac remedies in that it is supposed to remove resin from the skin after the rash has appeared. In one study, this effect was present even at 144 hours post exposure. However, it seems logical that at some point post exposure, urushiol is no longer present in the skin and that the allergic contact dermatitis (manifested as redness, itching, swelling, and blisters), would not be lessened by Zanfel™, unless it has some direct anti-inflammatory properties

 

From the comment section comes this helpful suggestion via White Coat

One of the other things that helps to some degree is "Ivy Block" - it allegedly keeps the urushiol from binding to the skin.  http://www.ivyblock.com/ivyblock.php

Also, TechNu is reported to work as well as Zanfel, but is significantly less expensive.  http://www.teclabsinc.com/products.cfm?id=1F5604C8-9D05-4675-56129F6D83DF2417§ion=1

Also, check out the post he did “Poison Ivy – Son of an Itch

 

REFERENCE

Leaves of Three, Let Them Be: If Only It Were That Easy; Medscape Article, May 28, 2004; Patricia L Jackson Allen, MS, RN, PNP, FAAN

 

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