New Poison Ivy Relief

Now we’re seriously into yard-work season, I am acutely aware that this is poison ivy season as well.


The claim is everyone can get contact dermatitis from the oil in poison ivy/oak/ sumac that contains urushiol toxin - though some are very sensitive.


The itch can drive you crazy, but now there’s a new product on the market that claims it is the only product that will remove the urushiol – Zanfel.


Conventional treatment is to wash any of the plant oil off as soon as possible with soap and water/alcohol; apply soothing balms like hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion; if bad enough, take systemic cortisone in pill or shot form – I always prescribe a course of prednisone pills.


One, slightly counterintuitive, trick for immediate relief of the itching – or itching from any cause – is to run the area under water as hot as you can stand it.


Best prevention is to avoid it (“leaves of three, let it be”). But maybe Zanfel is the answer. I couldn’t find much info’ about it’s efficacy. The price is a little daunting - $35.22 for a 1 oz. wash at Wal-Mart.


There is a fairly comprehensive review of the stuff at



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