General prevention steps include the following:
July 16, 2014
- Avoid irritants and allergens. Try to identify and avoid substances that irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.
- Wash your skin. You might be able to remove most of the rash-causing substance if you wash your skin right away after contacting it. Use a mild, fragrance-free soap and rinse completely. Also wash any clothing or other items that may have come into contact with a plant allergen such as poison ivy.
- Wear protective clothing or gloves. Face masks, goggles, gloves and other protective items can shield you from irritating substances, including household cleansers.
- Apply an iron-on patch to cover metal fasteners next to your skin. This can help you avoid a reaction to jean snaps, for example.
- Apply a barrier cream or gel. These products can provide a protective layer for your skin. For example, an over-the-counter skin cream containing bentoquatam (IvyBlock) may prevent or lessen your skin's reaction to poison ivy.
- Use moisturizer. This can help restore your skin's outermost layer and keep your skin supple.
- Take care around pets. Pets can easily spread to people allergens from plants such as poison ivy.
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- Miroddi M, et al. Rosmarinus officinalis L. as cause of contact dermatitis. Allergologia et Immunopathologia. In press. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- Korkina L, et al. Plant polyphenols and human skin: Friends or foes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2012;1259:77.
- Protopic ointment (tacrolimus). U.S. Food and Drug Administration Safety Information. http://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/safetyalertsforhumanmedicalproducts/ucm150742.htm. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Alani JI, et al. Allergy to cosmetics: A literature review. Dermatitis. 2013;24:283.
- Usatine RP, et al. Diagnosis and management of contact dermatitis. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/080http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0801/p249.html1/p249.html. Accessed March 6, 2014.
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- McEnery-Stonelake M, et al. Contact allergens in oral antihistamines. Dermatitis. 2014;25:83.
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