Tecnu Rash Relief FAQs

Feel free to explore the already asked questions below by selecting a question, search in the top search bar, or submit a new question. We will respond as soon as possible.

See previous questions and answers below:

It is best to use Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser in the shower. Tecnu Original bonds with the urushiol to remove it from the skin, and in the shower, the urushiol will wash down the drain with the water. In a bathtub however, the oil can disperse into the water and possibly spread to other areas of your body.

Yes. Even when the plants are dead, the resin that causes the rash remains active. Removing the plants entirely is the best way to avoid contact with them.

At this time, none of our products have been tested for use on jelly fish stings or coral scrapes specifically. We would recommend contacting your pharmacist or physician for a recommendation.

We do NOT recommend using any of our Tecnu products on or around the eye area. Please consult your pharmacist or physician.

No. The poison oil remains toxic and does not evaporate. All parts of the living or dead poison plants, including the roots, flowers, or berries, contain the urushiol oil. Be especially careful of dead vines on firewood and leafless vines in the winter.

There are no known side effects of Tecnu Extreme.

Yes, in the sense that poison oak can grow in different forms such as a vine, shrub, or ground cover. For more help with plant identification, see our plant images.

Yes, be careful, because you can get the rash from your pets. Since the animals' fur protects their skin from the oil, they won't get the rash. However, the oil will remain on their fur and will contaminate you when you touch them. You can use Tecnu to bathe animals. Apply Tecnu to dry fur, rub in, and fully rinse.

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

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

Most likely, no. However, if any of the leaves have fallen onto the deck/chairs in previous seasons, the oil may be on those items, leading to secondary contamination. That would be the most likely cause for a person to develop a rash in this case. If so, you may consider wiping down the furniture with Tecnu (after spot checking first for color-fastness). It is our understanding that burning the plant is the only way the oils can be airborne.

Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser is designed to be used full strength. To use, apply the cleanser directly to the skin (or item being cleaned) without adding water. Rub vigorously for 2 minutes into the affected area and then follow up by rinsing with water or wiping off with a cloth. If water is mixed with Tecnu Original before application, it will be diluted and not effective.

If you are looking for a cleanser to use with water, while taking a shower for instance, we recommend using Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub which is designed to be used with water.

No, using Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser before exposure to poison ivy will not help prevent the rash. Tecnu Original is a cleanser that is formulated to unlock the urushiol bond with your skin so you have to use afterward to wash off the poison ivy oil.

Yes. If the plant is burned in an open fire, it is possible to get poison oak or ivy systemically by breathing the smoke of burning poison oak or ivy. If you think you have poison oak/ivy systemically, see your doctor; this can be a fatal condition. In some states it is illegal to burn poison oak/ivy. NEVER BURN IT!

Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser is a cosmetic cleanser that does not contain an active drug ingredient that would interfere with taking an oral antihistamine such as Bendaryl.

We recommend consulting your physician first.

Tecnu Rash Relief Spray can be used on a sunburn.

Tecnu Extreme is an exfoliating scrub that works well on your skin, but we do not recommend using it on clothing and shoes as it is a different consistency than original Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser. If you are having difficulty finding original Tecnu in a local store, you can purchase it online at our website. We even have a larger 32 oz size not available in most drug stores, and your shipping is free for orders over $25.00.

Yes, you can use Tecnu Extreme on your scalp, but, use at your discretion, Tecnu Extreme is a detergent, and if you have sensitive skin, an irritation may occur. Definitely do not use Tecnu Extreme near your eyes.

Yes, however, consult your physician first. During pregnancy you are more likely to develop allergies, so use with caution. Nursing mothers should thoroughly rinse Tecnu Original from their skin.

Yes, you can use Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser on your face, but use at your discretion. Tecnu is a detergent, and if you have sensitive skin, irritation may occur. Definitely do not use Tecnu near your eyes.

Do not physically MIX Tecnu & other medications, this may cause irritation or reaction. Always use Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser and other products separately. When using other medications, cleanse with regular soap before applying Tecnu. Thoroughly rinse Tecnu before applying any other medications.

Yes. However, please use caution. Spray onto your fingers first, then apply to your face (be sure to avoid eyes & mouth). Thoroughly rinse your hands after.

While poison ivy typically grows in leaf clusters of 3, on occasion, leaves can grow in clusters of 5 or 7.

Tecnu Rash Relief Spray has never been color/damage-tested on hair, so we can't say with certainty that it won't damage the hair. The bigger cause for concern is that it may run down into the eyes. We recommend testing an inconspicuous piece of hair first. Use care to avoid getting product in or around your eyes.

While it hasn't been tested specifically on other plant irritants, it makes sense to wash them off the skin as soon as possible with some kind of cleanser so it might as well be Tecnu Extreme.

Tecnu Extreme can remove the rash causing oil and help dry up the rash, but it doesn't contain an antihistamine which may help to reduce swelling caused by an allergic reaction.

The sooner you remove urushiol from your skin the better as the poison ivy and oak rash is caused by your body's reaction to the bond of the plant's oil to your skin. Everyone's body is different so some people react to urushiol sooner than others which is why we have a time range on there. We have found that, for most people, it is best to remove the oil within 2-8 hours of exposure.

When using Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser on items such as clothing, fabric, or painted surfaces, we recommend spot testing in an inconspicuous area first to test for color-fastness. Apply Tecnu Original to the test area, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, then wipe down with a cloth saturated in water.

None of our medications are specifically indicated for use on shingles. Consult your doctor for proper treatment.

Yes, poison ivy will bloom tiny white flowers before they turn into berries. The berries range from grayish to white in color. See our pictures of poison ivy plants for a more detailed description, and to see what poison ivy looks like.

No poison oak stems do not have thorns on them. Poison oak grows as a shrub or a climbing vine.

We have one medicated product that contains menthol at inactive levels, our anti-itch gel called Calagel.
All product labels can be found here in our Tips and Info section.

You are looking for a poison ivy barrier product, which we do not currently make. If you have been (or, think you may have been) exposed to poison oak or poison ivy plants, washing with a cleanser designed to remove urushiol (rash-causing oil from the plants) within 8 hours after exposure can help remove the resin before a rash begins. Such cleansers include Tecnu Original and Tecnu Extreme.

Unfortunately, Tecnu® Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser is not available in a one gallon size at this time. The largest we make is a 32oz.

Tecnu Extreme can be used before or after the rash begins. If used after exposure to the plants, it will remove the rash-causing oil from poison ivy and oak plants. If used after the rash begins, it can remove the oil to help prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body.

Bleach may appear to be a quick fix to poison oak or ivy. However, bleach removes the top layer(s) of your skin. Using it can irritate your skin and in the process weaken it so that the rash may become worse. Your skin may then become more susceptible to getting the rash in the future.

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.

In a sense, yes. poison ivy (or, oak) rash will heal on its own. Poison ivy rash cannot be "cured", but you can treat the symptoms of a rash (redness, itching, swelling, blisters) with over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. However, for a rash lasting 10-14 days or longer with little to no improvement using OTC's, we recommend contacting your physician.

Yes, blistering and oozing are common reactions to poison oak and ivy rash during the healing process.

If the urushiol (rash-causing oil) has not yet absorbed fully into your skin, and you are not using a cleanser to remove urushiol from the skin's surface, it is possible to spread the oil to other areas of the body. After contact with poison oak or ivy plants, it is best to wash as soon as possible with a cleanser designed to remove urushiol such as Tecnu Original or Tecnu Extreme.

Tecnu is a cleanser and does not have an expiration date. However if you notice it is turning a yellowish or brown color, it is no longer good and you should replace it. Be sure to shake Tecnu Original before using.

Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser can be used without water. Shake the bottle well, wipe the product on the area where you need to remove urushiol, and then wipe off with a cloth.

You can either pull the plants out of the ground, or head to your local home and garden center where a store employee can recommend the best weed-killer to eradicate poison oak and ivy plants. If you choose to pull the plants out yourself, there are a few tips we recommend following: 

1.) Wear long sleeves and pants as well as gloves
2.) Place a grocery bag (or any plastic bag) around the plant and pull with the bag, tie and dispose
3.) Be sure to thoroughly wash after with a cleanser that can remove the rash-causing oil, urushiol; either Tecnu Original or Tecnu Extreme will do the trick
4.) Last but not least, be sure to wash the clothing you were wearing in warm/hot water, through two cycles in the washing machine with a heavy-duty detergent such as Tide®.

The problem with dogs running through poison oak is that the oil will stay on their fur until it is removed. The only way to prevent having to clean your dog daily would be to keep her from coming in contact with the plants in the first place, such as keeping her close on a leash or taking a different path that does not contain poison oak. To remove the oil, you can use Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser. Saturate a cloth with Tecnu Original and wipe down her coat. Follow up with a pet shampoo and water. You want to make sure to remove all of the Tecnu so that she doesn't lick her fur and ingest it.

Tecnu breaks the bond that the poisonous oil makes with the proteins in our skin, it does not break it down, chemically into inert substances. It may be possible that some of the oil residue could reside where you rinse off, but we have never tested that theory. We have never heard of anyone becoming re-contaminated from such exposure.

Blisters can form as part of your body's natural reaction to the resin (urushiol) from poison ivy and oak plants. A rash can last anywhere from 1-2 weeks, or up to 30+ days in more severe cases. It is best not to pop the blisters to avoid a potential infection, and let them run their course naturally. If you've had an active rash for 2 weeks with little to no success with over-the-counter treatments, we recommend contacting your physician.

Urushiol does not evaporate and can remain active for years after being picked up on tools, clothing, animal fur, etc.

Urushiol, the plant's oil, is a residue that can stay on tools for years. Even if you haven't use them for a year, cleaning the tools that have come in contact with the plants with Tecnu Original is a good idea.

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.

There is no set limit to how many times you can apply Tecnu Extreme.

Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser removes the urushiol from your skin the first time you use it. You can repeat use to remove any urushiol you missed or to remove any urushiol oils that you have come in contact with after the first use.

Tecnu Original is a skin cleanser that is safe to use as often as you would like. However, if it starts drying out your skin or irritation occurs, discontinue use.

Enough for it to stay very wet when rubbing on skin for a couple of minutes.

Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser is a cleanser that removes the oil that causes poison ivy and oak rash. At this point, you are better off using a product with an anti-itch medication to relieve your itching.

Anything that can be carried along with steam has the potential to be breathed into the lungs. It's always advised to use Tecnu Original in a cool shower to keep from opening the skin's pores.

We have not tested any of our products for the treatment of the rash, Molluscum Contagiosum. We encourage you to speak with your physician or pharmacist for proper treatment recommendations.

Yes, you can begin getting poison ivy or oak rash at any time during your life. Three out of four people are sensitive to poison oak and ivy. Sensitivity is just a matter of being exposed enough times until the body becomes allergic to the poison oil (urushiol). The rash can begin within a few hours after contact, or it can start three to five days later.

No, you should not use Calagel if you are allergic to sulfites. Tecnu Rash Relief Spray would be another option for itch relief.

Tecnu Extreme contains exfoliating beads that could irritate sensitive areas, therefore we would not recommend using it on genitals. We would also encourage you to speak to a medical professional for an appropriate course of treatment for that area of the body.

Use it at your discretion! Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser is a detergent, genitals are very sensitive, and irritation may occur.

Tecnu Rash Relief Spray contains essential oils and alcohol, both of which may sting/burn sensitive areas such as the genitals.

No, You must have direct contact with the urushiol oil in order to have a reaction. It is highly unlikely for you to get the rash from wind blowing on the plant.

Yes, if you wash repeatedly with Tecnu Extreme it may be drying your skin. Discontinue washing with Tecnu Extreme and apply a moisturizing lotion to the area. Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) may be good to put on it as well.

If you have been washing with Tecnu Extreme, the urushiol should be gone and therefore your rash should not spread anymore. If you find your rash does spread, then you are coming in contact with the poison ivy or oak plant's oil (urushiol) again. Urushiol can stay on surfaces such as tools, clothing, pets fur, etc. for a very long time. You may need to decontaminate those items as well.

Yes, Tecnu Original is safe to use on your children when used according to directions. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the area after use to ensure that any residue has been washed away.

Tecnu Rash Relief Spray has not been tested for use on animals, please consult your veterinarian.

Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser can be used to decontaminate clothing that has come into contact with poison oak and ivy. Instructions for cleaning can be found in our video section.

If you have had the rash for a while and it is not spreading, then you may have already removed the plant's rash causing oil, urushiol. After showering for many days, your soap may have finally removed any oils that are not bonded with your skin. The rash is your body's reaction to this bond. If your rash is spreading then you may want to use one of our cleansers.

The purpose of the Tecnu Original Cleanser is to remove urushiol, but it does not include any anti-itch medication. Again, if your rash is not spreading, this product won't do anything for you at this point.

Anything that you can do to dry up the rash is going to benefit you the most. Oxygen is helpful to healing the wound. If you cover the rash with a sterile bandage cover loosely to allow healing oxygen to reach the surface of the skin. It is important to keep the rash very clean; changing sterile bandages frequently reduces the risk of infection.

Follow the directions on the label for "As Soon as Rash Appears:" 
1. Rub Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser on affected skin & surrounding areas. Avoid breaking skin. 
2. Rinse off with cool running water (not a bath) to remove Tecnu & poison oils.

It is always a good idea to wash the affected area, whenever practical, before using Tecnu Rash Relief Spray to keep the area clean. It is also best to leave the affected area uncovered so that it can breathe; if you must apply a bandage, be sure that it is loose.

If the skin has been thoroughly cleansed with Tecnu Original or Tecnu Extreme, it shouldn't be necessary to wear gloves.

You can use Tecnu Original before using a hydrocortisone ointment. Just make sure to wait at least 3 days after using a hydrocortisone ointment, before using Tecnu.

The reason is that the use of hydrocortisone thins the skin, allowing any topical application to the skin to penetrate more readily. If you are slightly sensitive to a detergent, like Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser, it will aggravate the skin more quickly and severely.

As of 2016, Tecnu Extreme no longer contains polyethylene beads, instead they have been replaced with silicon dioxide. This new ingredient is more environmentally friendly, and works just as well to exfoliate the skin.

We are not aware of any side effects of Calagel. However, if you are allergic to sulfites, you could experience: a reaction that can 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. DO NOT USE Calagel IF ALLERGIC TO SULFITES.

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.

Urushiol oil has a slight yellowish-green tint to it. But, only when there is a large quantity of it. The amount needed to cause a reaction in most people is so small it is not visible. For example, the head of a pin can contain enough oil to contaminate 100 people. In most cases, it will be invisible to the naked eye before or even after the rash has appeared.

See first aid measures page 2 on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) form

See first aid measures on page 2 on the Safety Data Sheet for Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser.

See the Safety Data Sheet for Calagel.

You can cover loosely with a sterile bandage. Change frequently. Taking a cool shower may also help control oozing. When you cool the skin the vessels constrict and don't leak as much.

For the initial wash with Tecnu after exposure to poison oak or poison ivy, it is best to use cold water. Hot water opens the pores, which can allow the urushiol to penetrate deeper, possibly increasing your chances of developing a rash.

Seek medical attention for your poison ivy rash if:

1.) You rash has lasted longer than 2 weeks
2.) Over-the-counter treatments have not helped to improve your symptoms
3.) You inhale the smoke from burning poison ivy (or, oak, sumac) plants
4.) You experience severe swelling or have trouble breathing

None of Tec Labs' raw materials are derived from animal products.

The Food and Drug Administration regulates homeopathic treatment products marketed as drugs.

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.

If the poisonous oil has already penetrated the epidermal layer of the skin and bonded to the deeper skin cells, it's too late to stop the reaction from occurring. The benefit of using Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser is if there is still urushiol oil on the top layer of skin, Tecnu will remove it and prevent further contamination.

Keep in mind that the body grows new skin underneath the blistered area. This new skin area is usually a dark red and even looks bruised on some individuals depending on skin type. This difference in coloring blends in a few weeks and doesn't leave permanent marks.

Poison oak and ivy rash can be tricky! There are a couple of reasons why your rash appears to be spreading: 1.) Different areas of the body absorb the rash-causing resin (urushiol) at different rates; so, you may notice one area of your body breaking out, and another spot show up a day or two later 2.) You are coming into contact with urushiol from an unexpected source such as clothing, tools, steering wheel, even your pet. See our post to learn more about secondary contamination & how to avoid it.

It is not uncommon for a poison ivy or oak rash to blister and ooze during the healing process. That is actually formed by your own body and has nothing to do with the cleanser. When the blisters break and ooze you want to make sure that you are keeping them clean and if you cover them use a loose bandage.

Cool water is recommended for the first wash with Tecnu Extreme so that the chances of your pores opening up, and absorbing the rash-causing oil, urushiol are lessened. Cool water keeps pores closed, while warm/hot water opens them up.

In the case of a severe, draining rash, we recommend seeking care from a medical provider for proper treatment.

Our products Calagel and Tecnu Rash Relief are indicated for itching and pain due to insect bites.

Virginia creeper has oxylate crystals in the sap that cause a rash and sometimes blisters in people who are sensitive to it. Although Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser has not been tested specifically to remove Virginia creeper, it is a multi-use cleanser that may remove the sap from your skin. Be sure to consult a medical professional for advice on how to treat the symptoms of the rash.

Trusted Partners

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.
©2021 Tec Laboratories Inc. | 1-800-482-4464 | 7100 Tec Labs Way SW, Albany, OR 97321
Shopping Cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue Shopping