Home Remedies for Poison Ivy

Anyone who has experienced poison ivy knows the itching can be maddening, but luckily, home remedies for poison ivy can provide some relief. It’s best of course, to avoid getting it, since it normally lasts anywhere from 14 to 21 days.  The home remedies help to relieve the symptoms but don’t reduce the length of the outbreak.  If you know you’ve come in contact with poison ivy, find the nearest water source. If you can wash it off within 30 minutes, you may avoid an outbreak.

The Causes

Poison ivy is caused by an allergic reaction (contact dermatitis) to the oil found on the plant, known as Rhus oil, or urushiol, which can penetrate the skin within minutes of contact. The oil can get on clothing and other objects and cause a rash if touched weeks or even months later.  If your pet runs through poison ivy, touching their fur can bring on an allergic reaction.  Putting away clothing such as a jacket that has the oil on it can possibly cause a reaction even a year later. Urishiol can even travel through the air in the smoke of burning plants. About 10% of people are not allergic to poison ivy and have no reaction, while another 10% are extremely allergic.

Poison Ivy Symptoms

Symptoms of poison ivy usually occur within 12 to 48 hours and include:

  • A red rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Blisters

The rash may appear in a straight line, due to the way the plant rubbed against the skin, but can also be spread out. In some cases, the rash will continue to spread for several days as the urushiol continues to absorb into the skin.

Home Remedies For Poison Ivy

These home remedies for poison ivy can help to relieve some of the itching and swelling:

1) Take a cool bath with colloidal oatmeal, such as Aveeno.
2) Apply cool wet compresses to the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day.
3) Take an oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl , to help relieve itching and help you sleep.
4) Apply Calamine lotion to the affected areas to relieve itching and help to dry the rash.
5) Apply hydrocortisone cream to the affected area three or four times per day.
6) Add a cup of baking soda to a lukewarm bath and soak for 15 minutes to help dry oozing blisters and reduce itchiness.
7) Take a warm shower to reduce inflammation and then rub the inside of a banana peel over the rash to provide relief from itching.
8. Apply a compress of Burrow’s Solution (aluminum acetate dissolved in water) to the affected area.  Burrow’s Solution is sold without a prescription and is also sold in a tablet or powder form under the name Domeboro. Mix with water according to the package directions.
9) Apply burdock root tea to the rash and let dry.
10) Apply vinegar to the rash to stop the itching and dry up the rash. Do this several times a day.

If the rash is severe and widespread, or covering sensitive areas of your body, such as the eyes, mouth or genitals, it’s important to see a doctor.  You should also see a doctor if you are running a fever, have oozing blisters or if the rash keeps spreading or seems infected.  For less serious cases, home remedies for poison ivy often provide much needed relief.




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