Last Updated on March 31, 2015
Poison Ivy is a deadly plant that can give you a frustrating rash if you come in contact with it or the poison oak. It is marked by extreme itching and eruption of red rashes. The blisters and bumps may stay for two to four weeks and you need to be patient and wait for them to go away. However, there are some techniques that one can use to reduce the itching caused by this skin disease and also hasten the recovery.
Immediate Treatment Tips:
As soon as you realize that you have come into contact with poison ivy and its toxic oil or inhaled smoke from a burning poison ivy vine, instantly :
1. Rinse your skin with water
The water should not be hot because it will open the pores of the skin and let more toxic oil be soaked. Carefully rinse the area of the skin that came into contact and avoid touching other parts of your body when washing. This is to prevent exposure and not let the rash spread to other parts too. Also, use a dish soap to wash the affected area because it lessens the rash.
2. Wash all clothing
Take off any article of clothing that came into contact with the plant because the oil could be present on the clothes. And if skin that was not exposed earlier touches these clothes, it will also get the rash.
3. Place an ice pack
To sooth the itching skin, put an ice pack as it closes skin pores to prevent further exposure.
4. Rub alcohol over exposed skin
Do this as soon as possible so the rash will not grow.
Tips to Treat the Rash
1. Apply a paste of baking soda
Make a thick paste of baking soda in water. Applying it to the affected skin and letting it dry will help pull fluid out of the rash. Repeatedly doing this every few hours to get rid of poison ivy quickly.
2. Apply cold coffee
Cold black coffee contains a good anti-inflammatory acid. Dabbing it on the rash reduces redness and swelling as well as brings down the irritation.
3. Use oatmeal in bath water
Oatmeal is known to soothe the skin. Adding blended oatmeal to warm water and taking a fifteen minute bath in it will relax the poison ivy rash. Some people use tea as a substitute too because of the tannic acid in it which is an anti-inflammatory.
4. Rinse with vinegar
Apply apple cider vinegar on the poison ivy rash to sterilize the skin. Hence, it washes away any toxic oil and prevents infection.
5. Use calamine lotion or topical creams
This is to provide relief from the itching caused by the rash. These lotions are easily available at any medical stores. These can be applied twice or thrice a day and act as a relaxing medication.
Last but not the least, prevention is necessary. Be familiar of the appearance of the this plant and get rid of poison ivy plants near your premise.