Poison Ivy and poison sumac are kind of plants that causes itchy rash on your skin. A chemical by name urushiol is responsible for causing such itchy rash. It is enough if your clothing just brushes with the leaves of this plant for developing rash. Often people who come in contact with these plants are prone to develop rash. However this type of rash does not spread to others and it resolves within few days without any treatment. Home remedies are enough for treating poison ivy rash.
1. Washing With Water
- If you know that you have accidentally touched this toxic plant it is best to wash your fingers and your entire clothing thoroughly. Allergy inducing resin called urushiol is highly toxic and remains in your clothing unless it is washed and dried in sunlight.
- The ideal way to get rid of itchy rash after being exposed to poison ivy is by washing. You can rush to the nearest water supply and use mild soap for washing your fingers and hands thoroughly.
- In case water is not available nearby, you can use mild alcohol for washing your fingers. Just dip your fingers in the alcohol for few minutes so that the resin gets dissolved in it.
2. Juice Of Certain Plants
If you are in the woods and can find touch-me-not plant or jewelweed plant nearby it can give you relief from itching. Crush few leaves of these plants and apply the juice directly on the itchy area of the skin. The stems and leaves of these plants can work as antidote for poison ivy rash.
3. Aloe Vera
You can use aloe Vera leaves for getting quick relief from itching caused by poison ivy. Aloe Vera is enriched with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory property and hence useful in reducing itchy rash caused by poison ivy or poison oak. Alternatively you can use aloe Vera cream or lotion at home for reducing itchy feeling.
Any vinegar solution available at home can become an excellent remedy for controlling itching of poison ivy. Add about half a cup of vinegar in a cup of water. Apply this paste on the affected area liberally. You can dip a soft cloth in this solution and wrap it on the skin to get quick relief from itching.
5. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel can provide soothing effect on your skin. Dip a piece of cotton ball in witch hazel solution and rub it on the skin exposed to poison ivy resin. This can give the same effect like that of alcohol.
Calamine lotion is the best home remedy for getting rid of poison ivy rash and itching. You can apply this cream generously on the affected part and allow it to dry completely to get quick relief from itching.
7. Oatmeal Bath
Add about 2-3 cups of oatmeal in your bathtub of warm water. Immerse your body in this solution for 30 minutes. This can provide complete relief from itching and body rash caused by poison ivy. Even blisters can also be treated with oatmeal bath.
8. Epsom Salt
Magnesium sulfate otherwise known as Epson salt is a good remedy for itchy feeling. You can add few tsp of Epsom salt in the bathtub and soak your body for half-an-hour or more. This helps in drying off the skin rash healing quickly.
- Once you reach home, wash the entire clothing in the machine preferably with hot water. Don’t take the chance of using the same cloth since it might contain droplets of poisonous resin. After rinsing you can dry the clothing in sunlight (if possible) to get rid of the resin completely.
- Even the shoes cannot be spared. It is better to rinse your shoes and socks thoroughly in warm water if you suspect contamination of poison ivy resin on them.
- Pets are highly susceptible to poison ivy resin. You can stay away from your pets if you suspect they would contain pollutant chemical in their fur. Alternatively you can make them bath in warm water to get rid of the resin completely from their fur.
10. Wet Compress
If nothing is available at home, you can simply dip a towel in cold water and gently press it on the affected area of your body. Wet compression can give relief from itching and rash.
- Over the counter medications like Benadryl or Cetrizine can be taken for getting quick relief from itchy rash. In addition you can also take painkillers for reducing any pain.
- You can always consult your doctor if any of the above methods are effective in controlling the itchy feeling. He may prescribe antibiotics or steroids like prednisone for reducing itching.
- Do not hesitate to seek help from the nearest hospital if you are experiencing additional symptoms like choking or shortness of breath and swelling of face along with severe itching in the body. It can be anaphylactic reaction needing immediate medical help.
Tips For Prevention :
- You can avoid venturing into the woods if you are already toxic to poison ivy or poison sumac.
- In case your work compels you to go into the forest, you can wear long sleeved shirt and pants to prevent the resin from sticking into your clothing.
- You have to do some homework to identify these plants so that you can avoid touching them. Learn about the pattern and style of these leaves.
- Wear protective clothing like raincoat, gloves and boots when you are walking in forest area.
- You can use barrier creams like Ivyblock or lotions that contain bentoquatam liberally in the exposed parts of your body prior to starting your journey to the woods.
- Keep the backyard clean and remove unwanted bushy plants from your garden.
- Avoid taking pets with you when you are visiting any wild area.