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The length of time it takes for your poison ivy rash to heal really depends on your body's immune system. Some people can clear up in days, some take up to a month.  A few important things to note:

If your rash isn't spreading, then you shouldn't have to keep washing with Tecnu. If your rash is spreading, that means you are coming in contact with the plant's urushiol oil again. Usually recontamination (if you haven't been around the plants again) happens because you are picking it up off an object that has been in contact with the plant oil such as gloves, gardening tools, mountain bike, pet's fur, etc.. Those items may need to be washed as well.

If the rash isn't spreading but it is getting worse, you may want to consult a physician.  Signs of infection can include very red skin, puss, swelling, fever and pain.

If the rash isn't getting worse, it may just be that your body needs a little time to heal.

Calagel helps to relieve the five major poison oak and ivy symptoms: itching, pain, oozing, swelling, and infection. Calagel is designed to help dry up the rash.

Calagel will not "heal" the rash, but it will help relieve the symptoms. Calagel's active ingredient, diphenhydramine, is an analgesic and antihistamine that provides itch relief from the rash.  It is combined with zinc acetate which is a skin protectant that helps protect the rash from further damage. It also contains a first aid antiseptic to help protect against infection.

The drug facts label on Calagel states, "Stop use and ask a doctor if condition worsens or if symptoms persist for more than 7 days, or clear up and occur again within a few days."

If you have been using Calagel on your rash for over a week now and are starting to notice increased redness and irritation, we would suggest you discontinue use and contact your doctor.

Calagel should not be used in conjunction with any other products containing diphenhydramine so as not to exceed a daily recommended dosage. Please contact your physician.

Calagel should not be used in your eyes, and its label states, "avoid contact with eyes." Consult a physician or pharmacist for eye drops or other eye medicine that would be an appropriate treatment.

We have one medicated product that contains menthol at inactive levels, our anti-itch gel called Calagel.

All product labels can be found here /tips-info/product-labels

No you should not use Calagel if you are allergic to sulfites. Tecnu Rash Relief or Corticool would be other options for itch relief.

We have not tested Calagel to be used on animals so we cannot recommend using it on your dog.

The symptoms of a sulfite reaction vary from mild to life threatening. The most common symptoms are mild and involve a skin rash accompanied by redness, hives, itching, flushing, tingling, and swelling. Respiratory symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, and stridor. Gastrointestinal reactions involve nausea and stomach cramps. Less common but more serious signs include low blood pressure, shock, extreme difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness.

Calagel contains sodium metabisulfite which also can be found in some food products. Some people may have an allergic reaction which can include, but not limited to, hives, upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, trouble swallowing, flushing, dizziness, drop in blood pressure or trouble breathing. If you are known to be allergic to sulfites you should not use Calagel for any reason. Sulfites are not the same as sulfates, which are naturally occurring mineral salts containing sulfur. When in doubt, do not use, and consult a doctor.

As an alternative, you could try Tecnu Rash Relief Spray which has a homeopathic formula and does not contain sulfites.

Calagel Medicated Anti-itch Gel is an over-the-counter medication that has a two year expiration date from the day it is manufactured. The date can be found marked near the batch code vertically on the side of the bottle label. It will be marked as "EXP month/year", so for example EXP 6/2018 would expire in June 2018. If you purchase Calagel in a box with a 2 oz. Tecnu Original inside, the expiration date will also be stamped on the bottom of the box.

Zinc Acetate is catagorized by the FDA as a skin protectant. "It provides temporary skin protection and relieves minor irritation and itching due to poison ivy, oak, sumac, and insect bites."  It is not a "barrier".

Consult your physician first.  All ingredients are GRASE (generally recognized as safe and effective) according to the FDA. However, during pregnancy you are more likely to develop allergies, so use with caution.

Calagel® has not been tested for use on ringworm. We encourage you to seek advice from your physician or pharmacist for proper care/treatment.

Calagel is for external use only. Apply to external genital area only, and only for the indicated uses on the label. Please be warned, it may sting in sensitive areas.