The plant of poison oak or poison ivy contains oil called as urshiol, which is highly toxic and is released when the plant is cut, stepped or crushed upon. The oil content of the plant runs very high in the spring and the summers when people are known to camp and tent outdoors. Unfortunate victims find themselves being admitted to the nearest emergency room after a brush with poison ivy.
The plant causes a very strong allergic reaction causing a rash to erupt on the skin 12-48 hours after the oil has penetrated into the skin. The rash starts small and then goes on to become large and itchy blisters. The commonly affected areas are the face, hands, legs and even the genitals. Even people who are mildly sensitive seem to have a hard time coping with the rash and the itching. Fortunately, there are some simple home remedies that can help to ease the itching and the pain caused by the rash.
Mix a few teaspoons of baking soda in a about a tablespoon of water to make a thick paste. Now with the help of a wet gauze, apply the baking soda on the affected areas of the body.
You can also soak the oozing blisters with sterile gauzes by making a concoction of 1 litre water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Soak the gauzes with the water and place them on the blisters for some relief from the pain and the itching.
The juice of a few lemons is said to alleviate the rash. Just squeeze out the juice directly on the affected area to soothe the itching. This will help you to feel much better. The lemon juice also helps to draw out the oil from the skin due to its high acidic content.
Grind some oatmeal in a blender to make a smooth powder. Now put this powder into the stocking and suspend it directly into the tub of warm water. Fill your tub with soapy water and soak in this bath for at least half an hour to feel the relief. Alternately, you can directly apply the pouch of oatmeal on the affected areas of the legs.
While salt may initially burn like hell, it is a great remedy for dealing with poison ivy. Just apply the salt water solution to the affected areas of your skin. If the itching and the rash are unbearable, you can soak in a tub of salt water to get relief. However, take necessary precautions against the acute burning sensation.
Brew some green tea or any other tea. Let the tea cool in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes or until it is chilled. Once chilled, dip a piece of cotton wool into the tea and apply the tea all over your legs, hands and other parts of the body. The tea has tannin, which helps to give a lot of relief from the itching and the pain caused by the poison ivy plant.
Calamine lotion is great for speeding up skin healing and also for its soothing effects on the skin. It has a cooling effect, which helps to subside the skin tenderness caused by severe itching. You can apply calamine lotion as often as you can.
Pop a capsule or tablet of zinc on a daily basis until you find the rash clearing up. Zinc helps to promote skin and tissue healing which in turn helps to clear up the rash.
You will need to start taking a course of vitamin C once the rash appears on the body. This helps to reduce the severity of the rash by minimizing its spread to the other parts of the body.
Take 3 teaspoons of Epsom salts and dilute it well by adding just one teaspoon of water. This thick and diluted solution can then be applied evenly on the affected areas of the body to get immediate relief from poison ivy.
The juice of a pure aloe Vera plant greatly helps to subside the rash. Just ensure that the gel you use is pure aloe Vera gel and not something that you have picked up from the market.
Calendula lotion is very good in helping to reduce the rash, promoting healing and preventing the rash from spreading.
This is said to be an effective cure in the treatment of poison ivy rash. Just make sure that the apple cider vinegar is mildly diluted in water. A very potent solution can cause a stinging sensation. If your skin has cuts on its surface, avoid using apple cider vinegar as it likely to injure you and make you feel worse.
Rub ice cubes as soon as you feel the first sensations of itching and rashes. Ice helps to reduce the pain and the swelling caused by the poison ivy plant. You can use ice cubes immediately.
Another way of getting the much-needed relief is by using cool compresses on your skin. The cool compresses can be placed on the affected areas and left there for about 30 minutes until you feel the itching subsiding. However, you will have to be very regular in placing the bandaged.
Try to use an OTC anti-histamine like avil or ceterizine, which will help to superficially subside the itching. You will have to take anti-histamines especially if your case is severe, have profound blisters that have turned into hives. Hives are not good for the body and need to be dealt with.
One of the most important precautions that you can take by preventing a rash from the poison ivy plant is to cover up for your own comfort. This will prevent the oil from reaching deep into your skin. You will also not come into direct contact with the plant. With the help of these simple home remedies, you can easily nip poison ivy in the bud.