I actually tried this on myself, and the results were astounding. This was my second time with poison ivy, and the itch was incredible. I decided to cleanse the area and apply tegaderm. The itch was gone immediately, and the healing was rapid. I pass this on in hopes that others may see a basis for the use of tegaderm in the early treatment of poison ivy. — PATRICIA DUNN, ANP, Esq., Weymouth, Mass. (201-1)

I just read “A treatment approach for poison ivy”, and while I do not disagree with the recomendations made in the article, I do have another approach. A product available OTC (albeit, expensive) by the trade name Zanfel is a paste that is used as a wash after exposure to urushiol-containing plants (poison ivy/oak/sumac). 
It irreversibly binds the urushiol on the skin and allows one to rinse it away. It almost immediately helps to resolve the itching and can be reapplied as often as needed. It is safe for all, including infants, and it works very well. I do not work for Zanfel and have no commercial interest to disclose, but as someone who has suffered all my life from sensitivity to these plants, I can attest that this is now all I use (and all I need) when exposed. Good Luck!! — PETER GENTILE, PA-C, MHP, Worcester, Mass. (201-2)

With suspected or known exposure to poison ivy or poison oak: (1) immediately remove all clothing; place in washing machine, and launder as usual; (2) shower in the usual manner, but include a final rinse with a diluted bleach solution (1/4 cup bleach to 1 quart warm water). This will usually inactivate the poison ivy resin and prevent any dermatologic reaction. Do not use if the patient has any allergy to bleach. — JUDITH WOOSLEY, APRN, Paris, Ky. (201-3)

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These are letters from practitioners around the country who want to share their clinical problems and successes, observations and pearls with their colleagues. We invite you to participate. If you have a clinical pearl, submit it here.