With summer officially here we all like to get outside! However getting friendly with nature sometimes leads to the dreaded rash of poison oak / ivy. Well you are not alone. Did you know that over 90% of all Americans are sensitive to this three leaved plant. And either direct or indirect contact with the plant can cause an itchy skin rash that can last up to 2 weeks.
The nasty chemical that the plant makes is called urushiol and less than one millionth of an ounce of this oily substance can cause an allergic reaction! Urushiol is transmitted several ways including: direct contact with the plant, touching clothes that have been exposed as well as carried on the fur of your pet. Yes, even smoke from burning poison oak / ivy can contain urushiol which can cause a reaction in your throat and/or on the surface of your eyes.
So what can you do to combat this nasty skin irritant? Get it off your skin as quickly as possible, before it has time to start the rash process. Science tells us that we have anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to remove urushiol before it’s too late, however this removal is often not as easy as it sounds.
Urushiol is a very oily chemical which makes it difficult to clean off of the skin. Just think, have you ever gotten motor oil on your skin and tried to wash it off with just soap and water? Doesn’t work to well does it? Even the very expensive commercial product sold to remove urushiol is only about 35% effective.
So what’s to do? Don’t fear, there is a solution….FRICTION. That’s right use a wash cloth with soap and water and really scrub the exposed area. However there is something better. Goop Hand Cleaner. The rough particles in Goop are perfect for breaking the surface tension of the urushiol thus significantly reducing the chance of getting that rash.
There you have it, now you at least have a fighting chance with poison oak / ivy.