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Soothing Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak 
by Mary M. Alward August 04, 2005


Spray deodorant contains organically activated clay known as organoclay. This is highly effective in neutralizing urushiol. Just spray any exposed skin with your deodorant to neutralize urushiol. Also spray your pet’s coat. Antiperspirants are best as they contain both organoclay and aluminum chlorohydrate. Never spray deodorant in skin folds or on your face. It stings and can be quite irritable on these areas.

Use a Shield

Multi-Shield is a barrier skin care product that is used in industry to protect skin against oils and solvents. It has also been found to stop urushiol oils from making contact with skin. It can be purchased from Interpro in Haverhill, MA.

Burning Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

Never burn the plants of either poison ivy or poison oak because urushiol spreads through the air as they burn. If you inhale the droplets of oil that are released in the burning process, you can come down with a fever, serious lung infection and a rash that covers your entire body.


1,800,000 North Americans began to swell within 4 to 12 hours of being exposed to either poison ivy or poison oak. Blisters will appear on the skin and the eyes may swell shut. If the happens, get to an emergency room as soon as possible. A shot of corticosteroids will bring the swelling down and provide the sufferer with relief.

Whatever Works

If you’ve been exposed to poison ivy or poison oak, use whatever works. This includes horse urine, clear fingernail polish, meat tenderizer, ammonia, paint thinner or acetone. These things have all been used successfully to treat skin that has been exposed to both poison ivy and poison oak. Paint thinners are especially good for counteracting urushiol oil. Applying solvents to your skin is not recommended under normal circumstances but when you’ve come into contact with urushiol oil, use whatever works. Be careful though, because solvents also take protective oils off of your skin.



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