Poison ivy, oak, and sumac each produce a chemical in the oil of their leaves that causes burning, itching , redness, and blistering in the skin as a result of an inflammation reaction. This inflammation reaction is called contac dermatritis
The drug bentoquatam 5% is in a lotion form that is to be applied to the skin at least 15 minutes before exposure to poison ivy, oak, or sumac. The lotion hardens to form a clay-like coating that can be seen on the protected portions of skin. Bentoquatam is manufactured under the trade name IvyBlock.
This preventative agent can be helpful to people traveling through wilderness areas where poison ivy, oak, or sumac are prevalent. It should be especially beneficial to hikers, park rangers, fire fighters, and others who must encounter these toxic plants.