There are many remedies which are considered of value in the prevention of poison ivy and poison sumac dermatitis. Some of the more recently recommended prophylactic ointments have been too hastily accepted as efficacious and have been prematurely heralded as the solution of the problem of preventing ivy dermatitis. These reports have given physicians and ivy-sensitive laymen alike a false sense of security. The most recently advocated protective preparations are the ferric chloride ointment recommended by Keeney1 and the sodium perborate ointment prescribed by Schwartz, Warren and Goldman.2 If these preparations are applied to the skin prior to contact with members of the poisonous rhus group, a subsequent dermatitis is said to be prevented.
Keeney reported that "from the results of these experimental studies ten per cent ointment of ferric chloride should protect clinically against poison ivy dermatitis if applied before contact with poison ivy occurs."
HOWELL JB. EVALUATION OF MEASURES FOR PREVENTION OF IVY DERMATITIS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1943;48(4):373–378. doi:10.1001/archderm.1943.01510040017004
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