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Home remedies for treating poison ivy rash

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home remedies for treating poison ivy rash

Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies one can try to help alleviate the itch(ing), with many like coffee, a banana, baking soda, or. Are you looking for potent and effective poison ivy treatment? Discover the best natural options for poison ivy cure plus strong and effective conventional. Other natural remedies · Cucumbers. Cucumbers have the ability to soothe the rash because of a natural cooling effect. · Banana peels. I've never.
home remedies for treating poison ivy rash

When you have been in contact with poison ivy, oak, sumac or any plant containing the toxic, urushiol oil, you are sure to suffer the consequences. Typically, these consist of itchy skin and red rash followed by poison ivy blisters.

Remedies for Poison IvyPin

In this article, we will share advice to help you avoid contact with plants containing urushiol oil. We shared tips on getting rid of poison ivy, sumac and oak plants in this article. We will also provide simple tips to help you cope and recover from poison ivy, oak or sumac skin rash as quickly as possible. Read on to learn more.

Know How To Identify Poisonous Plants

Before you venture into the woods (or clear overgrown brush in your backyard), take a few moments to learn how to recognize potentially hazardous plants before you come in contact with them. Ticks are another item to be aware of.

Related Reading

Here is a brief description of the three types of rash-producing plants you are most likely to encounter:

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

You&#;ll find the poison ivy plant throughout the contiguous United States.

This small plant grows as a shrub or a vine. The leaves are glossy and may have either serrated or smooth edges. They typically grow in clusters of three.

In the springtime, the leaves are light red. They become green in the summertime, accompanied by small, green flowers. In autumn, the leaves transition from yellow to orange to red. The flowers become yellowish/white berries.

Poison Oak

Poison oak is prevalent as a shrub in the southeastern US. It grows as a vine along the west coast. Its leaves are arranged in groups of three but are fuzzy in texture. The leaves may be lobed (like an oak leaf) or deeply serrated. Poison oak also produces yellowish/white berries from time-to-time.

Poison Sumac

Poison sumac does not grow as a vine but grows as a tall bush, and sometimes thought of as a tree. These plants can be found in boggy or swampy areas in the southeast, the northeast and the midwest.

The smooth-edged leaves grow in pairs, in descending order of size on long, red stems. A single leaf grows at the tip of the stem.

The leaves are typically in odd numbers ranging from seven to thirteen, and the fronds have a feather-like appearance. Poison sumac has green leaves in the spring and summer and puts on a glorious show of color in the fall.

The bush produces yellowish/green flowers in the summertime, and they become whitish/green fruits in autumn. The fruits hang down in clusters rather like grapes. [source]

4 Tips to Outsmarting Poisonous Plants

Protect Yourself Against Poison Plants!

Even when you can recognize these plants, you may miss them mixed in with the general arboreal population. That’s why it’s essential to dress appropriately when gardening or exploring the woods.

Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants, solid shoes or boots and socks for gardening and hiking. If you plan to work with these plants, you must also wear gloves, eye protection and possibly a breathing mask.

After possible exposure, be sure to wash any tools or equipment that may have come in contact with poison oak, ivy or sumac. Wash your clothes and yourself right away to remove any urushiol you may have encountered.

If your pet goes on your adventure, be sure to bath them, too. Urushiol will not cause dogs, cats and other critters to break out, but if it is on their fur it will affect you.

Time is of the essence. You want to prevent urushiol from soaking into your skin and having to treat poison ivy rash. Be sure to use cool water, as hot water will cause it to soak in even more! When urushiol absorbs into your skin, it is carried to your lymph nodes. This is what initiates the allergic reaction.

This is why it is always wise to take a cool shower using Tecnu or dish soap as a body wash when you come in from a long day in the yard or woods. Don’t take a bath as this may have the effect of dispersing the urushiol over the entire surface of your skin!

What Are Poison Ivy Symptoms and What Can You Do?

The first thing you will notice if you encounter poison ivy, oak or sumac is intense itching. You must be careful not to scratch which may cause the rash to spread. Also, if you break the skin, bacteria from your fingertips and nails can cause the area to become infected.

As your allergic reaction progresses, contact dermatitis will develop which may turn into angry-looking, itchy blisters.

So, how to get rid of poison ivy rash fast at home?

Fortunately, there are many things you can do at home to mitigate the symptoms of poison ivy rash.

If you have washed the area thoroughly with a specialty product such as Tecnu or with simple dishwashing detergent, you should have removed most (if not all) of the toxin. If you feel itching anyway, wash the area again with cool water and Tecnu or dish soap and cool water.

Keep the area clean, and apply anti-itch preparations as needed. Quick, consistent attention can help prevent worsening of the rash. You may even be able to hold off blistering. Your rash should heal within a couple of weeks. [source]

16 Home Remedies To Help Relieve Poison Ivy Itching

Here are 16 great home remedies to help you relieve the itching of poison ivy and hurry healing on its way.

#1 &#; Make a cool compress. Soak a washcloth is cool water and lay it over the affected area. The cooling effect will temporarily counteract the itching.

#2 &#; Make an apple cider vinegar (ACV) compress. To soothe your rash and reduce the itching and inflammation mix ACV with cool water to make your compress. You can make this mixture up in advance and keep it in your fridge for even greater relief from itching and burning.

#3 &#; Another good recipe for a soothing compress involves the use of a cup of pure, filtered water and a teaspoonful of Himalayan salt. This all-natural rock salt contains sulfur, iron oxide and a number of other minerals.

It is known to have effective antihistamine properties, and it is very helpful in dealing with poison ivy rash. Use Himalayan salt water to make a cool compress or decant it into a spray bottle to spritz onto your rash as needed.

#4 &#; Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is a wild plant that can often be found growing alongside poison ivy. It is a very useful, medicinal plant and you can use it the moment you come in contact with poison ivy.

To do so, you would simply cut off a length of the plant’s hollow stem, slit it and press the wet interior of the stem against the affected area of skin.

You can also make a tincture using apple cider vinegar, vodka or rubbing alcohol and the leaves of the plant.

Here’s a good video that describes Home remedies for treating poison ivy rash and its many uses.

How Do You Get Rid Of Poison Ivy Rash?

#5 &#; Fresh aloe vera gel is also very helpful for dealing with rashes and all manner of skin irritations. If you happen to have an aloe vera plant on hand, just cut off a spear, split the tough, outer skin and scrape the pulpy gel out with a spoon.

Mash it up with a fork to make it spreadable and then apply it to your irritated skin. You can keep the unused portion in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge for merrick login few days. You can also simply split the spear and lay the juicy side against your rash if you wish.

#6 &#; Acidic, astringent lemon or lime juice is good for treating poison ivy rash and relieving the itch. Mix it with honey to help fight bacteria, promote healing and prevent scarring.

You can make a soothing treatment with the juice of one lemon or lime and a couple of teaspoons of honey for poison ivy. Mix these ingredients together well and keep them in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

Use a cotton ball to dab the cool mixture onto your rash as needed to quell itching and burning.

#7 &#; Distilled witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) extract is very cooling and soothing for rashes and irritated skin. Use a cotton ball to apply it directly to the rash to reduce inflammation and itching and help blisters heal quickly.

Is rubbing alcohol good for poison ivy or does rubbing alcohol help poison ivy?

#8 &#; Rubbing alcohol for poison ivy dabbed over the affected area will also help stop the itching, but it will sting. Witch hazel is safe and comfortable for use on children. Rubbing alcohol may not be.

Does rubbing alcohol kill poison ivy? If used immediately after contact it can eliminate most issues.

#9 &#; Use rubbing alcohol and medicated body powder. After cleaning the rash with soap and cool water and allowing the skin to dry, apply rubbing alcohol generously with a cotton ball and immediately sprinkle medicated body powder (e.g. Gold Bond) generously over the area.

This will create a paste of medicated powder and rubbing alcohol. Cover the area loosely with dry gauze to keep the treatment in place.

#10 &#; Use goldenseal for healing inside and out. Goldenseal is a natural herb that possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a tea and to make natural medicines and personal care products.

You can purchase goldenseal root powder mills v board of education of the district of columbia your local health food store and use it to make a tincture that you can apply directly to your rash with a cotton ball.

Add a teaspoonful of goldenseal root powder to a pint of freshly boiled, filtered water. Allow the mixture to sit (covered) until it cools. Pour it through a clean coffee filter to strain out the gritty powder.

Store it in your refrigerator in a clean glass jar with a tightly fitting lid. Apply it to your rash as needed. You can also add 10 drops to a cup of water or tea for inner healing.

#11 &#; Make a baking soda poultice. Baking soda is good for absorbing oils and toxins and soothing inflammation. You can make a stiff paste of baking soda and cool water to apply to areas of skin affected by poison ivy.

Spread the paste evenly over your rash and allow it to dry. Rinse it off gently with cool water and follow up with a soothing treatment such as jewelweed juice or aloe vera gel.

#12 &#; Make a baking soda compress. If your rash is severe and you have open blisters, mix a couple of teaspoons of baking soda into a quart of cool water. Soak a washcloth in this mixture and lay it over the affected area of skin. Repeat as needed.

#13 &#; Take a baking soda or Himalayan salt bath. If you have poison ivy rash over a large area of skin, pour half a box of baking soda or one or two cups of Himalayan salt into a cool/lukewarm bath and soak for half an hour. Pat your skin dry and apply a soothing, natural moisturizer such as aloe vera gel.

#14 &#; Take an oatmeal bath. Put a cup full of plain, dry oatmeal in a cotton sack or old cotton sock. Tie it shut and toss it into your cool or lukewarm bath. Take a good, long soak. After your bath, pat your skin dry very lightly or allow your skin to air dry. You should have a fine film of oatmeal residue over your skin. This will help reduce itching and irritation.

#15 &#; Make oatmeal “milk”. You can also soak your oatmeal bundle in a jar or bowl of cool water and use the resulting “milk” to treat your rash.

Squeeze the bundle of oats directly over your rash to release the full strength oatmeal milk as needed to soothe inflammation and reduce itching. You can keep this setup in your fridge and use it as needed.

#16 &#; Make a cucumber or watermelon rind skin masque. Whole cucumbers and the white part of watermelon rinds contain phytochemicals that help reduce inflammation and have mild analgesic properties.

Use your blender to create a cooling, soothing paste of cucumbers or the white part of watermelon rind. Spread the paste over your rash and allow it to sit for half an hour or so. Rinse it off gently with cool water.

Natural Remedies for Poison Ivy

What To Do If You Are Unprepared

One awful thing about poison ivy is that you tend to encounter it when you are away from your usual resources.

If you suddenly find yourself itchy at a picnic, first wash with copious amounts of cool water, then give these tips a try!

  • If no water is available, clean with rubbing alcohol or black tea or coffee.
  • Find a jewelweed plant, split the stem and apply it directly to the skin.
  • Clean and chew up some wild plantain leaves to create a poultice.
  • Soak a napkin or cloth with chilled vodka to make a compress.
  • Make a compress with cool black coffee or iced tea (no sugar!)
  • Apply cucumber slices or watermelon rind directly.
  • Gently rub the area with a slice of lemon or lime.
  • Rub the itchy area with the inside of a banana peel.

These natural, anti-itch quick fixes also work well for other itch-producing situations such as mosquito bites, bee stings and the like.

How To Identify Plantain

Be Patient!

It’s important to understand that it will take a week-to-ten-days for your poison ivy rash to resolve completely. Even if it seems to be gone in a shorter period of time, continue keeping the area clean and using soothing natural remedies as needed for a couple of weeks.

If you would prefer not to use home remedies, or if you have not found these types of remedies effective for you, try using over-the-counter (OTC) products to soothe itching and dry the blisters. Some good examples include:

  • Corticosteroid salves and ointments
  • Aluminum acetate
  • Calamine lotion
  • Zinc carbonate
  • Zinc acetate
  • Zinc oxide

Keep in mind that even if you go with OTC medicines, you should still wash the affected area once or twice a day and treat it consistently for a couple of weeks for best results.

Is Poison Ivy Rash Contagious?

Once you have cleaned the urushiol oil off your skin, you will not spread the rash how to check balance on edd debit card others. However, the if oil remains on your clothing, your boots or shoes, your tools, your pets, your furnishings or any other surface.

The residual urushiol oil will cause you and others to develop mobile application development company usa ivy rash. This is why it is so important to clean up quickly and thoroughly after possible exposure home remedies for treating poison ivy rash poison oak, ivy or sumac.

When Should You See A Doctor?

With regular care and treatment, poison ivy rash should be little more than an annoyance, and it should clear up in a week-to-ten-days. If it doesn’t, you should see a doctor. A trip to your doctor (or emergency room) is also advised if you have any complications, such as:

  • Signs of infection such as tenderness, pus and/or soft, yellow scabs
  • High fever (greater than degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Rash over a large area of skin
  • Itching that cannot be relieved
  • Inability to sleep due to itching
  • Worsening of symptoms
  • Rash around your eyes
  • Eyelid swollen shut
  • Rash on your face
  • Rash on your genitals
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Generalized itching

Medical personnel may need to treat you immediately if your condition is very severe or life-threatening. Alternately (or additionally) you may need to see a dermatologist ( a doctor who specializes in skin conditions).

A good dermatologist will be able to pinpoint the cause of your rash. He or she will be able to write you a prescription for oral and topical medications such as prednisone, steroid ointments and antibiotics.

Related:Is Virginia Creeper Vine Poisonous?

Getting Rid Of Poison Ivy Rash Treatment by Dermatology

Stay Safe!

Urushiol is a powerful allergen, and no human is immune to it. Even those who believe they are immune will eventually build up sensitivity with repeated exposure.

That’s why it is so important to take proactive steps to avoid coming in contact with poison ivy, oak and sumac.

Unfortunately, these plants are so common that it is easy to be exposed without knowing it.

Light contact with any part of the plant or with a surface that has come in contact with the plant can cause an allergic reaction, which may take several days to manifest.

For these reasons, if you live an active, outdoor life it’s impossible to avoid contact with urushiol altogether. By keeping your eyes open and practicing good cleanup habits when you come in from the great outdoors, you can greatly reduce your chances of suffering an itchy rash.

If/when you do come in contact with poison ivy, follow the tips and advice presented here to stay itch-free!


First Aid: Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac

First Aid

The oil in poison ivy/oak/sumac plants (called urushiol) can cause an allergic rash in most people who come into contact with it.

Mild rashes can be treated at home, and mostly cause discomfort from itching, burning, or blistering. Severe, widespread rashes require medical treatment.

Signs and Symptoms

  • an itchy red rash that appears within 4 hours to 4 days after touching the plant oil
  • blisters that ooze clear fluid
  • bumps and blisters that may be different sizes and look like streaks on the skin
  • rash may begin to look crusty as it heals

What to Do

  • Remove any clothing that has touched the plant or rash and wash all recently worn clothing.
  • Gently wash skin and scrub under fingernails right away with soap and water.
  • Cut fingernails short to keep your child from breaking the skin when scratching.
  • Place cool compresses on the skin as needed.
  • For itching: add oatmeal to the bath; use calamine lotion on the home remedies for treating poison ivy rash not on the face or on the genitals); and, if needed, give your child the recommended dose of diphenhydramine (Benadryl or home remedies for treating poison ivy rash store brand).

Get Medical Care if:

  • the rash covers a large portion of the body or is on the face or genitals
  • the rash is getting worse despite home treatment
  • the skin looks infected (increasing redness, warmth, pain, swelling, or pus)

Get Emergency Medical Care if Your Child:

  • has a known severe allergy to poison ivy/oak/sumac
  • develops swelling of the tongue or throat
  • complains of chest tightness or trouble breathing
  • develops large areas of redness or swelling
  • was given a shot of epinephrine (EpiPen)

Think Prevention!

  • Teach kids what poison ivy/oak/sumac plants look like and how important they are to avoid.
  • Make sure kids always wear long-sleeved shirts and pants whenever playing close to these plants.
  • Have kids wash their hands well after being outdoors.

Measles make you bumpy
And mumps&#;ll make you lumpy
And chicken pox&#;ll make you jump and twitch
A common cold&#;ll fool ya
And whooping cough can cool ya
But poison ivy, Lord&#;ll make you itch!

-The Coasters

If you are one of the approximately 85% of the population who are allergic to poison ivy, then you’re probably already familiar with the intense discomfort it can cause from severely itchy, painful, oozy blisters and rashes.

How to Identify Poison Ivy

Poison ivy grows throughout most of North America, including most Canadian provinces and all U.S. states except Alaska, Hawaii and California. It thrives along the edges of wooded areas, which makes it especially prominent in suburban communities.

A poison ivy plant features three almond-shaped leaflets, and may have grayish-white berries. The leaves, which are smooth and shiny, are often red when the plant is young, turning light green and then dark green as summer progresses, and reverting to bright red or orange again in the fall. The leaves are generally anywhere from 1” to 5” long, but can, in rare cases, grow to be up to 10” long. Poison ivy vines have no thorns, but will often feature fine reddish root hairs along the stem.

Want to Avoid Poison Ivy? Try Rhyming!

Here are a few mnemonics people have used over the years to help them avoid poison ivy:

Leaves of three, let it be.
Hairy vine, no friend of mine.
Berries white, run in fright or Berries white, danger in sight.
Red leaflets in the spring, it&#;s a dangerous thing.
Side leaflets like mittens will itch like the dickens.
If butterflies land there, don&#;t put your hand there.

Natural Remedies for Poison Ivy

watermelon rind isolated on white

Here are some natural remedies for poison ivy—if you are unlucky enough to come in contact with it—that will help reduce the itching and pain. Before trying any of these remedies, be sure to first wash the area thoroughly with soap and hot water, using a washcloth. Rinse and repeat at least three times to ensure that all of the poison is gone. Urushiol, the substance in poison ivy that makes you itchy, is a sticky oil that is hard to wash away. Make certain to wash all clothes, and anything else that came into contact with the plant, too.

  • Witch hazel applied to the affected area can soothe the itching.
  • Cover the rash with a paste made from cold coffee and baking soda. A paste made from water and cornstarch will also work.
  • Take a warm bath with oatmeal or Epsom salt. Use about one cup of oatmeal or two cups of Epsom salt in a full bathtub.
  • Rub a banana peel or a watermelon rind over the rash and don’t rinse it off. Allow it to dry naturally.
  • Make a paste from one tablespoon of turmeric with equal parts of lime or lemon juice and apply to the affected area.
  • Whip a raw potato into a paste in your blender. Spread it onto your skin and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Make a paste from one tablespoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil, 1 to 2 cups green clay, and a little water (just enough to give it a pasty texture). Apply liberally and leave in place for approximately 30 minutes. Rinse. Apply times daily.
  • Rub dishwashing liquid onto the skin area with a washcloth and allow it to dry. Reapply as needed.
  • Apply tea made from burdock root or peach tree leaves. Allow it to dry on the skin, and reapply as often as desired.
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and spray the affected areas and allow to air dry. Helps to treat symptoms as well as to dry the rash.

Not-So-Fun Fact: Urushiol remains active for up to 5 years. So even a dead poison ivy plant can cause a rash!

Farmers&#; Almanac - Itch

Jaime McLeod

Jaime McLeod is a longtime journalist who has written for a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites, including She enjoys the outdoors, growing and eating organic food, and is interested in all aspects of natural wellness.

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No Bleach Please: How to Treat Poison Ivy

By: Jamie Harms, M.D

Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re out in your yard, cleaning up vines and weeds. Two or three days later, you develop an itchy rash on your arms. Two days after that, the rash is on your legs and face. The rash swells and oozes, but it’s the itching that makes you so uncomfortable. Poison ivy season is here.

Most children and adults are sensitive to poison ivy to some degree. Poison ivy grows.poison-ivy image
vigorously in this part of the country. It grows as a low ground cover or climbs as a vine, using trees and poles to support it. The leaves, stems, and roots of the plant contain the clear, odorless oil, called urishiol, that causes the skin reaction. When you brush by the leaves or break the vine, the oil comes in contact with your skin.

You scratch your elbow, wipe the sweat from your face, roll up your sleeves, and each time, you move a little bit of poison ivy oil around your body. Imagine how your arms and hands look after checking the oil in your car—that oil is dark, so you can see where it’s smeared on your skin. Poison ivy oil spreads around the same way. Ultimately, you union savings bank mt washington the oil off your skin, but often not before your body has noticed the urishiol and starts sending immune cells to fight it.

A couple of days later, your skin begins to itch, and you notice some small blisters filled with clear fluid. And here is where some common myths about poison ivy begin.

Myth 1:You can spread poison ivy to other places on your body or to other people by touching the rash, especially the fluid inside the blisters. In fact, that fluid is made of cells from your own body- immune cells- not the urishiol that causes the rash. The rash itself is not contagious at all. People often notice the rash “spreading”, but this is because the rash emerges over several days. It comes out first in places where the skin is thin, like the undersides of the wrists and between the fingers. Later, it comes out in places where the skin is thicker.

Myth 2:A little bleach on the rash will dry it right up. A poison ivy rash is a break in the skin. Any caustic material, such as bleach or rubbing alcohol, can damage your tissues and make it harder for a wound to heal. Keep the rash clean with soap and water. Cover it with a bandage if it’s oozing to help prevent bacteria from getting into the wound.

Some cortisone cream will help reduce your poison ivy rash. Keep cool—you’ll itch more if you’re warm. An antihistamine such as Benadryl can help with the itch. If your poison ivy is widespread, or involves the skin around your eyes, make sure to see your doctor.


Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Tips for Washing

Topic Overview

If you have contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, immediately wash areas of the skin that may have touched the plant. Sometimes the resulting rash (contact dermatitis) can be completely avoided by washing the affected areas with plenty of water and soap (such as dishwashing soap) or rubbing alcohol. Rinse often, so that the soap or rubbing alcohol doesn't dry on the skin and make the rash worse. Use creek or stream water if you are outdoors.

  • Do not scrub hard when you wash, so you don't irritate the skin. Also, be careful to clean under the fingernails, where the oil can collect and spread easily.
  • Special products, such as Tecnu and Zanfel, are available to remove urushiol from your skin. A hand cleaner, such as Goop, also may help.
  • If your pet was in a area where poison ivy, oak, or sumac grows, you may want to wash your pet with water and a mild soap to make sure the oil doesn't spread. For example, you could get the oil on your hands by petting a dog that has urushiol oil on its fur.

Urushiol can remain active on clothing and other items for many months, especially in dry climates. If these items are not cleaned properly, handling them can spread the urushiol to the skin and possibly cause a rash.

  • Wash all clothing, shoes, and other items that had contact with the plant or with a person who touched the plant.
  • Clean surfaces such as camping gear, gardening tools, and sporting equipment.
  • Wear vinyl or cotton gloves when handling or washing items that have touched poison ivy. Thin rubber (latex) gloves offer no protection, because urushiol can penetrate rubber.


Current as of: July 2,

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine


12 Most Effective Home Remedies For Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

The itchy and painful rash that follows poison ivy exposure is the result of an allergic reaction to urushiol oil. It is a common allergen found in many plants belonging to the Anacardiaceae family. Very few people are immune to urushiol. Repeated exposure is known to induce sensitivity in people who have been previously immune.

Poison ivy is so common that exposure can happen any time. Mere contact with any part of the plant can trigger the allergy because it takes only one billionth of a gram of urushiol to bring on the reaction. Delayed onset of the symptoms is typical of poison ivy, so you may not even realize that you have been exposed, until the rash breaks out in 2 hours to 10 days.

If you have even the slightest suspicion that you could have come in contact with poison ivy try some of these home remedies. They can reduce the severity of the reaction, if not prevent it completely.

1. Dish soap and cold water

The first step in treating poison ivy exposure is minimizing the spread of the irritant substance. The severity of the rash is directly proportional to the amount of urushiol that gets absorbed into the skin. The sooner you remove it, the lesser the chance of it spreading to other areas. It has been found that  half of the offending substance can get absorbed into the skin within just 10 minutes of exposure. So, if you find yourself near a poison ivy plant, do not wait for the itching to start.

Since urushiol is an oily substance, a grease-cutting agent is ideal to remove as much of it from the skin surface before it gets absorbed. Dish soap is the first choice here. Wash the exposed parts of the body with dish soap and cold running water. Ideally, remove all the clothing and dip them in soapy water and get into the shower with the dish soap.

If you live near the woods where poison ivy and poison oak are frequently seen, fixing an outdoor shower is a great idea. Cold water is better than warm water at this stage, since the latter may cause more irritation to the skin on the inflamed areas.

The first line of defense, i.e., washing with soap and water, is only effective before the oil gets absorbed into the skin. Once the dendritic cells in the skin come in contact with the oil, it gets carried to the lymph nodes where the immune reaction is initiated. A group of white blood cells called T-cells rush to the affected skin and destroy the skin cells exposed to the poison, resulting in the rash and blisters. Once that process is initiated, the focus should be on reducing the pain and discomfort.

2. Jewelweed

This small annual called Impatiens capensis is considered an antidote for poison ivy. Fortunately, it commonly grows in shady areas, often sharing its habitat with the poison ivy. The moment you spot the offender in the woods, look around for this defender.

The leaves and tender stems of jewelweed should be crushed to release the juice. Apply it to the skin that could have come in contact with poison ivy. Jewelweed obviously contains some compounds that either counteract the urushiol in the poison ivy or the body’s response to this allergen.

If you live anywhere near poison ivy habitats, it is not a bad idea to grow jewelweed in a shady corner of the garden. It is a good remedy against other skin complaints like eczema, ringworm and warts too.  

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

You probably have a good stock of this pantry staple. Use it liberally to soothe the rash. Mix half a cup of vinegar with one and a half cup of cold water and bathe the affected area with this solution. It is home remedies for treating poison ivy rash to use organic apple cider vinegar, although ordinary white vinegar home remedies for treating poison ivy rash be just as effective.  Keep the diluted vinegar mixture in the refrigerator and repeat the application whenever you feel intense itching. Alternatively, you can dip a wide swath of cotton or a washcloth in the cold mixture and lay it on the rash.

Vinegar only helps relieve the itching temporarily, but it can keep you from scratching the rash and opening up the blisters.

4. Lemon juice and honey

The juice of lemons could work the same way as vinegar, but this remedy has the added benefit of honey. Mix the juice of a lemon with two teaspoons of honey and apply it on the rash with a cotton swab.

The hygroscopic nature of honey helps draw out the fluid from the blisters, reducing their size and making their skin tough. This prevents accidental popping of the blisters. Although there is no risk of the fluid inside the blisters spreading the rash to new areas, any break in the skin is a potential risk. It can introduce pathogenic microbes and dirt into the body, making way for infections.

Lemon juice has an astringent property that helps reduce any kind of boils on the skin on spot application. This works in tandem with the honey to accelerate the healing of the rash.

5. Baking soda

If you have used baking soda to soak up oil spills, you can imagine how it could be helpful with poison ivy. Dusting the skin liberally with baking soda and then shaking it off may help get rid of the is fried rice good for you oil particles, but whether it is as effective as, or better than, washing off with soap and water is debatable. But once the rash develops, baking soda comes in handy in relieving itching and reducing inflammation.

Stir a tablespoon of baking soda in cold water and use it immediately to wash the affected skin. It soothes the skin and relieves intense itching. Repeat as often as you like until the inflammation disappears. Alternatively, you can dip a washcloth in the solution and place it on affected area. Adding a handful of baking soda to the bath water may help if the rash is widespread.

Another way to use baking soda is to make a paste of it with equal amount of water and apply it thickly on the rash. Allow it to dry on the skin. This may help reduce blistering as the drying mixture dehydrates the rash.

You can continue to use baking soda solution even after the blisters burst, but use a more dilute version. Mix 2 teaspoons in a quart of water and use it to wash the area. Dip sterile gauze in the solution and place it on the broken blisters as a disinfecting bandage. Change frequently.

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a tried and tested home remedy for allergic dermatitis of all types, including rash caused by poison ivy. This has been commercialized by companies which offer ready-to-use oatmeal products like Aveeno. But you can make your own version home remedies for treating poison ivy rash home from plain, uncooked oatmeal in your pantry.

Tie up a cupful of oatmeal in a piece of muslin cloth and keep it in a bowl of water. The oatmeal will absorb the water and swell up. Squeeze the bundle in the water to extract the milk. Wash the inflamed area with this liquid. When it dries, it leaves a thin powdery coat of fine starch which draws out water from the blisters, allowing them to dry faster. Keep the oat bundle in the water, and whenever you feel itchy, use it to squeeze some more milk on the rash.

You may find that adding oatmeal to the bathwater brings relief. To make it non-messy, you just add the cloth bundles to the bath and squeeze out the milk. Do not rub off the residue from the body with towels. Let it air dry to form a protective film that reduces the tendency to scratch.  

7. Cucumbers

If you have used cucumber slices on your face to relieve sunburn, you know how soothing one medical passport physician login is. They can be just as effective on the poison ivy rash. Their cooling presence relieves itching and keeps the skin hydrated.

You can make a paste of the cucumber, skin and all, and apply it liberally over the rash. You can safely use it on your face and other sensitive areas.

8. Watermelon

Watermelon is just as good as cucumber, and much easier to make into a pulp. But it is the rind of the watermelon that people generally recommend for poison ivy rash. Place pieces of the rind–with white side down, of course–on the rash for immediate relief from intense itching. It is useful for small, isolated patches, but if the inflammation is widespread, applying a pulp made out of the white portion may be more practical.

We may think that the benefit comes solely from the cool moistness of the pulp, but there could be more than meets the eye. The phytochemicals in the pulp could be having anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

9. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is considered the ‘be all, do all’ for anything related to skin, so there’s nothing surprising about its use against poison ivy rash. Instead of buying commercial aloe vera gels that one normally uses on undamaged skin, you should try to make your own healing salve from the fleshy leaves of this plant. If you don’t have any aloe vera plant growing in the yard or a pot,–you should definitely have this immensely useful succulent at hand–you can probably source it from shops selling organic products.

Strip off the tough skin from the flat surface of the leaf and use a sharp spoon to scrape out the clear pulp. Mash it with the spoon and use the gel on the rash. The relief is almost immediate. The itching will reduce in a matter of minutes and you will see a visible reduction in the inflammation within a few hours. Store the excess gel in a glass jar and keep it I refrigerated. Repeat the application whenever you feel the need.


The powdered root of goldenseal is a very effective herbal remedy for the rashes and blisters that develop after poison ivy exposure. Mix one teaspoon of the root powder in a pint of very hot water and set it aside to cool. Apply it over the rashes with a cotton swab. The tincture of goldenseal can be directly used on the affected area. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action of this herb will bring down the rashes and the blisters and prevent secondary infections.

You can drink a herbal tea of goldenseal to accelerate the healing process from the inside. Add half a teaspoon of the powdered root, or 10 drops of the tincture, to a cup of warm water and drink it up. It may taste bitter, but you can expect sweet results.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel extract distilled from (Hamamelis virginiana) is an effective herbal remedy for poison ivy. When applied topically, it reduces itching and inflammation, and promotes the healing of blisters. It is safe to use in young children.

Himalayan salt

Himalayan salt is a pink colored rock salt mined from the Himalayan foothills and plains with a whole host of benefits. Along with sodium chloride which makes its main bulk, it contains several other mineral salts, including iron oxide that imparts the characteristic color. The sulphur compounds in the salt gives it a peculiar smell and taste when dissolved in water.

Himalayan salt has been used as a skin toner and detoxifier for centuries. Its antihistaminic property is well known, which could be the main reason it helps relieve poison ivy rash. The sulfur content also may contribute to it.

Mix a teaspoon of Himalayan salt in a cup of water and spray it on the affected area or dip a washcloth in the solution and place it on the skin. A minute dip in a warm water bath to which cupful of Himalayan salt is added can ensure restful sleep through the night.  

Bonus Idea: Make a plantain poultice to ease poison ivy rash. Here&#;s how.

Seek Medical Attention if Condition Worsens

Home remedies are the first line of treatment for poison ivy; they are almost always effective in reducing discomfort and accelerating healing. However, in cases of severe reaction to the irritant, medical attention may be necessary.

Poison ivy rash is sometimes accompanied by a slight fever owing to the immune response of the body. If the fever is too high or persistent, or if the rash is spreading or oozing pus, you should consult a physician at the earliest. If you have developed secondary infections, antibiotic treatments may be necessary.

As mentioned before, contact with the fluid from broken blisters is not likely to cause rashes in other areas of the body or in other people. The offending agent urushiol is no longer present in these blisters; they are filled with blood serum as in the case of burns. In case you continue to develop rashes, you could be getting re-exposed to urushiol from items of clothing, furniture and gardening tools or from family pets that could be carrying the allergen on their fur.

Wash all the items of clothing that are lying around, including bed linen. Wipe down furniture with dishwashing liquid and shampoo carpets and upholstery. Pets would also need a good bath.   


The 5 best home remedies for poison ivy, according to dermatologists

  • The best home remedies for poison ivy include washing the affected area, soaking in an oatmeal bath, applying an anti-itch cream, or using apple cider vinegar. 
  • If your poison ivy rash is coupled with difficulty breathing or a fever, you should see a doctor immediately, as it may indicate an extreme allergic reaction.  
  • This article was medically reviewed by Sharleen St. Surin-Lord, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Visage Dermatology and assistant professor of dermatology at Howard University.
  • Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

The poison ivy plant contains an oil called urushiol, which causes an allergic reaction on your skin if you come into contact with it. 

A poison ivy rash is characterized by a red, itchy, and blistering rash on exposed skin. The blisters can break and leak fluid, and they can also crust over and appear black or dark red.

You should learn how to spot poison ivy — the three-leafed, ground-dwelling, viney plant — and try to avoid contact with it as much as possible. According to the American Skin Association, about 10% to 15% of people are extremely allergic to poison ivy, and should see a doctor if they touch the plant.

However, there are many home remedies that can help alleviate the itchiness of a poison ivy rash and allow it to heal faster, and most people will not need medical attention. Consider the following five home remedies if you have a poison ivy rash: 

1. Wash the rash 

You may not always realize that you've come into contact with poison ivy. However, once you suspect you might have touched poison ivy, "the affected area should be washed immediately," says Noelani Gonzalez, MD, a Clinical Instructor at Mount Sinai Hospital. 

Gonzalez recommends using cold or lukewarm water when washing the area, as hot water can irritate the rash and make it worse. You should also use hand or dish soap to effectively get rid of the plant's oil, says Sonya Kenkare, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at Rush University Medical Center. 

The combination of soap and water breaks down and washes away urushiol, which is necessary to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction. Kenkare recommends washing the area for about thirty seconds to a minute — just long enough to get rid of the oils without further irritating the skin. 

Alternatively, you could also use rubbing alcohol while washing to remove urushiol from the skin or other affected areas. Overall, it's important to wash anything that might have contacted the plant's oil, including: 

  • The affected home remedies for treating poison ivy rash of your skin 
  • Your hands (and under your nails) 
  • Clothing 
  • Gear or equipment 
  • Pets 

2. Soak in a bath 

Taking short, lukewarm baths can help treat any itchiness from a poison ivy rash, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Just make sure you've rinsed thoroughly before getting in the bath. 

"You shouldn't soak or take a bath if you've just come into contact with the plant, as some of the residual oil from the plant may not be washed off and can spread to other parts of your body or from person to person," Gonzalez says. 

When you have a poison ivy rash, the body produces histamines as part of the allergic reaction, which causes capital one customer service contact us and redness. Taking a bath in lukewarm water can help soothe your skin. But make sure you're careful, because bathing in water that's too hot can cause further discomfort.

"I find that when people use very hot water, it tends to make them more itchy," says Kenkare. "That goes for showering, as well as washing." 

Moreover, taking an oatmeal bath can help dry leaky blisters and soothe redness and irritation. A Journal of Drugs in Dermatology article on colloidal oatmeal — or finely ground, boiled oats — found that it has anti-inflammatory properties and can soothe inflamed skin. 

Soaking in an oatmeal bath for 15 to 30 minutes every eight hours may help relieve itchy, red skin. Other home remedies, like adding one cup of baking soda to a bath, can also help alleviate itchiness. 

Even showering with cool or lukewarm water for your normal duration every eight hours might help reduce itching — only hot water can make it worse. For more information, read about the benefits of cold showers vs. hot showers. 

3. Apply a common anti-itch cream 

You might have a few helpful creams lying around in your medicine cabinet. For example, over the counter hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion can alleviate itching, Gonzalez says. 

Hydrocortisone creams contain topical steroids to reduce swelling, redness, and irritation. Calamine lotion contains zinc oxide and astringents, and a study published in the Journal of Spectroscopy found that these compounds can also soothe itchiness. 

Both of these creams can be applied to the skin to help alleviate the discomfort of a poison ivy rash. However, calamine lotion should only be used in the first week, since it can dry out the skin, and if used for longer, it may cause further itchiness. 

If you don't have hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion on hand, you can use other alternatives that you may already have at home:

  • Baking soda paste.Mix three teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water and apply the paste to the poison ivy rash. It should flake off naturally. 
  • Cold compress. "Cool compresses on itchy skin is a great at-home remedy," Gonzalez can be as simple as wrapping a towel around a handful of ice cubes and holding it there for 15 to 20 minutes. Don't put ice cubes directly on the skin, as it may irritate the swollen, sensitive rash.
  • Aloe vera. Aloe vera gels or creams can reduce the hot, swollen skin of a poison ivy rash (as with a sunburn). However, it won't be as directly effective at reducing the itchiness of a poison ivy rash, Kenkare says. 

4. Try oral antihistamines 

You might also have some common medications that can help with poison ivy. Oral antihistamines block the body's production of histamines, which will help stop the symptoms of your allergic reaction to poison ivy, such as swelling, redness, and itchiness. 

Taking oral antihistamines can reduce itching, Gonzalez says. Non-drowsy oral antihistamines, like Zyrtec and Allegra, may be used throughout the day to relieve itching, redness, and swelling. Benadryl, which induces drowsiness, is more helpful for managing these symptoms at night and allowing you to get better sleep. 

However, you should avoid antihistamine creams, because they can worsen the rash, according to National Capital Poison Control. You should also avoid creams that contain anesthetics, like benzocaine, or antibiotics like neomycin or bacitracin, as these can further irritate the skin. 

5. Use apple cider vinegar 

Gonzalez says the anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar can help soothe the rash and relieve pain and redness. 

But Kenkare warns against applying apple cider vinegar to freshly inflamed skin. The vinegar's acidity could be painful if the skin is still raw, tender, or has open blisters. You should place a couple drops of diluted apple cider vinegar on unblistered skin first, to see if it causes irritation. If the vinegar doesn't inflame the area, it might provide some relief for the poison ivy rash.

Overall, vinegar has been used for centuries to treat common ailments, including poison ivy rashes, but there's no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar is specifically effective at treating poison ivy. 

If you decide to use apple cider vinegar to treat a poison ivy rash, dab a cotton ball dipped in the vinegar onto the affected area. You may want to dilute the apple cider vinegar with water if you have sensitive skin, or a particularly severe rash. 

When to see a doctor

A poison ivy rash will usually clear up on its own, in as quickly as four hours or as long as three weeks. 

You should see a doctor, though, if you exhibit symptoms of a severe poison ivy allergic reaction, which can include:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe swelling of the afflicted area
  • A rash that covers more than a quarter of your body
  • The rash occurs on your face, eyes, lips, or genitals
  • The rash appears infected — the blisters form pus, ooze yellow fluid, or have an odd odor 

Your doctor can then prescribe the best liberty national bank des moines of treatment to hinder the body's extreme allergic response or to control any infection in the skin or body. 

If you do have an extreme allergic reaction to poison ivy, you may also want to be careful of mangos. That's because mango skin contains urushiol, just like poison ivy. You should be able to eat the fruit, but touching the skin may also cause an allergic reaction. 

The bottom line

Poison ivy is a common rash that can be managed with home remedies and an understanding of how to prevent it. 

"I think one of the most important parts of poison ivy is actually prevention," Kenkare says. For example, wearing long pants and sleeves while doing yardwork or walking through a forest can help reduce the risk of urushiol oil coming into contact with your skin. You should also be able to recognize and avoid the poison ivy plant in the first place. 

If you do accidentally touch the plant, try to rinse the area with water immediately, and wash the affected area with soap and water for about a minute to stop the oil from causing an allergic reaction on your skin. And, if you still develop the itchy rash, use the home remedies above to relieve your symptoms until it heals.

Related articles from Health Reference:

home remedies for treating poison ivy rash


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