Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Due out This Spring: Creams That Protect against Poison Ivy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Due out This Spring: Creams That Protect against Poison Ivy

Article excerpt

Here are some recent health-care developments:

This spring and summer, there's new hope for avoiding poison ivy or poison oak and all that nasty scratching. A commercially approved, over-the-counter cream can help prevent allergic reaction to these plants, a doctor says.

The cream is called "IvyBlock," and this will be the first spring that it's been available. And it's not too early to be thinking about poison ivy and poison oak prevention. "If you touch the stems in the spring, you can get it from the resin, even if there are no leaves on the plant," said Dr. Mark Dykewicz, an allergy expert at St. Louis University School of Medicine. You need to smear the cream on your skin at least 15 minutes before you go outdoors. It reportedly lasts for several hours and can be easily washed off. Dykewicz says a study involving more than 200 volunteers showed that IvyBlock worked. It's estimated that about two-thirds of the U.S. population is susceptible to developing allergic dermatitis from poison ivy and poison oak. About 15 percent of these individuals develop severe reactions after exposure. The product should start hitting pharmacy shelves shortly. It's expected to cost less than $10 a tube. Dykewicz says that another over-the-counter cream has also been shown to help prevent poison ivy rashes. It's called Stokoguard. Help With Sick Babies Another product moving from the laboratory to the medicine cabinet is aimed at helping parents give liquid medications to babies. Called the "Rx medibottle," it's a baby bottle with a special oral dispenser. Its developers say the bottle is simple to use and can more accurately deliver medicine to a fussy baby, which will be good news to anyone who's ever tried the job at, say, 2 a.m. Here's how Rx medibottle works: First you load the oral dispenser with the medicine and then insert it through the bottom access of the bottle. After the infant begins drinking, you press the dispenser plunger. It shoots out quick short squirts of medicine to mix with the liquid in the bottle. The medicine is swallowed with the other liquid, such as juice or milk. …

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