Dermatology Online Journal
Prevention of poison ivy dermatitis with oral homeopathic Rhus toxicodendron
- Author(s): Signore, Robert Joseph
- et al.
Acute allergic contact dermatitis to poison ivy is acommon and miserable dermatosis which affectsmillions of Americans each year. Preventativemeasures, such as avoidance, protective clothing,barrier creams, soaps, and solvents often fail despiteour patients’ best attempts. Severe allergic reactionsto poison ivy are a significant source of decreasedemployee productivity owing to inability to work anda major health care expenditure. Patients may haveto leave their jobs and discontinue favorite outdoorrecreational activities as a result of severe urushiolsensitivity. Thus, a simple and effective method ofpreventing poison ivy dermatitis would be of greatbenefit to clinical dermatologists and their patients.Complementary and alternative medical practitionerscommonly prescribe homeopathic poison ivyproducts by mouth for the prevention of poisonivy dermatitis. Yet, conventional dermatologists aremostly unaware of this little known clinical pearl. Theauthor discusses two open studies and anecdotalexperience with administration of homeopathicpoison ivy in the prevention of acute allergic contactdermatitis related to poison ivy exposure. Potentialadvantages could include patient acceptability,ease of administration, affordability, and availability.Randomized clinical trials are needed to furtherevaluate the safety and efficacy of this interesting andpromising clinical tip.