Get rid of poison oak in just hours?

Sep 22, 2001

The Bottom Line Finally, a product to not only rid us of the itchiness, but eradicates the poison oak rash as well.

**Warning** This author about to enter "infomercial" mode. Please, don't run screaming and hit your "back" button quite yet.

Just for a moment picture your favorite infomercial - or at least any infomercial. As you read this product description, picture the same amazed expressions on this author's face. Yes, I have the same half-crazed smile and just want to sell this product to the world.

Let me just say...I LOVE THIS PRODUCT.

Some itchy background
Having just bought a house on two and a half acres of which, two acres are filled with poison oak (quite pretty this time of year), it is not difficult to imagine that I, being the fair-skinned sort, have been getting one to two new spots of poison oak a day. At first it was no problem, a spot or two on my arms, then a couple appeared on my legs. Pretty soon, I had spots in places, well, places that a fairly-civilized person does not want to get caught scratching in public.

This is where desperation set in.. I was using Tec-Nu which in itself is pretty miraculous if you know you've come into contact with poison oak, but I forgot to wash with it everyday and spots kept appearing. Tec-Nu is wonderful at washing the urushiol (the oil) off of the skin, but doesn't get the oils under the skin, so if you already have it, Tec-Nu can help the itching a bit and maybe even shorten the life of your rash, but does not rid you of the rash completely once you have the rash.

Ack, if Tec-Nu won't work, what will?
This is where this miracle product comes in. Being desperate to rid myself of this rash, I researched the internet for any remedy whether it be some home-grown concoction or a medical concoction. This is how I found out about a product called Zanfel.

How does Zanfel work, you ask?
Zanfel works by unlocking the urushiol from inside the affected skin. The directions are fairly similar to Tec-Nu. You squeeze a tiny amount in your palm while showering. Lather it up. It doesn't really lather, but it does spread across your palms and is sort of grainy so you can tell how much you have. Then, rub the affected area or areas for 15 to 60 seconds. One little dab of Zanfel can lather an entire forearm or thigh. After rubbing, simply rinse away and the oils get rinsed away in the water.

So did it work for me?
You have to ask after reading the first paragraph? **insert picture of goofy infomercial grin here** Yes, it worked for me. Prior to my shower, I had about 10 different spots, very itchy spots, of poison oak. Immediately after my shower, my spots were still there, but I had absolutely no itchiness. Within a several hours, the spots that I had had (some of them for a week or more) were dried up. Two of the more weepy spots ended up itching again about a day later, but one more application of Zanfel cleared them right up.

Here's the not-so-wonderful part about Zanfel
Zanfel is an over-the-counter medication but because it is incredibly pricey, almost $40 for a one ounce bottle, it has to be special-ordered in most pharmacies. I lucked out. Fortunately, a customer had had it special ordered at my pharmacy and didn't come in right away for it, so they sold it to me. I know $40 is a lot for a little tube, but I was pretty desperate at that point. I've only used the two applications and my tube is still almost full.

What is in this stuff?
The pharmacist checked out the ingredients for me. He wanted to know why itchy people so desperately wanted this tube of medication. Turns out, according to the pharmacist, that it contains a spermicide of some sort. Hey, whatever works, I say.

Every infomercial has a disclaimer
I'm not kidding when I say this worked for me. I have no idea how safe this product is. The pharmacist said it seemed harmless enough, but if you order it, talk to your pharmacist about the ingredients as well.

If you are prone to poison oak or poison ivy, you ought to invest in a bottle. You may think $40 is too pricey, but just ask yourself how important the money is when you are covered in that rash. I won't claim this product works for everybody because I just cannot know that, but it worked for me and I believe it will work for you too.

**although this review may not quite fit neatly into a "wound care" category, no other category seems to quite fit either and rather than wait for one, this author feels you deserve to be itch free now rather than later.

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