Are you looking for a poison ivy remedy? The itchy skin it causes is so famous there are even a song, movie, and board game named after it. It can be tough to deal with the symptoms when you contain the plant’s oil. This can include itchy skin that can be tough to deal with. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin, which can make the symptoms tougher to deal with. The climbing plant can make it tough when you’re going hiking in the forest since there’s a greater chance you might contact the plant and need to learn how to get rid of poison ivy rash.
There are several over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs on the market for treating rashes from poison ivy and poison oak. Prescription medications are stronger. However, they might cause unwanted side-effects depending on the different chemicals they contain. Several DIY remedies are less likely to cause side-effects. If you want to avoid unwanted side-effects then this is a good option. You might already have many of the ingredients in your home or can get them at your local supermarket or drugstore to save time and effort.
What Exactly Is Poison Ivy?
It’s a climbing vine/shrub that’s related to the tree that produces cashew nuts. The plant grows in different US regions and Canada. It sometimes grows as a bush yet usually wraps around tree trunks or grows on the ground.
There are different types of this plant including poison oak and poison sumac. Poison oak grows in the North-West region and poison sumac grows in the Eastern US. All three poisonous plants have an oil that can cause skin irritation.
You can get poison ivy in different ways. This includes getting it on your feet while walking through areas of the plant. You can also get it from other people. However, this only happens if the oil is still on the person’s skin.
It’s important to note that you can only get the rash if the oil gets on your skin and sits for a while. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s the plant’s oil that causes the skin breakouts. This is why it’s important to avoid contacting the plant.
Make sure to look for red leaves during the springtime. The leaves become shiny green in the summertime. Then in the fall, the leaves become red, yellow, or orange during the fall season.
If you contact the plant it’s important to wash the area completely. This can help to keep the oil from getting into the skin and causing an infection. That can thus help to prevent a rash. If you see blisters it can cause itchiness. You can then treat the rashes with different substances. More on that later.
There’s also a vaccine you can take. You can take a tablet or get a shot. It’s important to make sure you get the vaccine before you contact the plant. It’s not designed to treat a breakout after you’ve already contacted the plant.
How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy Rash/Itchiness
1. Aloe Vera
This gel is used for a wide range of treatments including hair and skin. It might also help to reduce the itchiness from the poisonous plant. The main goal is to avoid scratching the rash to prevent the oil from spreading on your body. Soothing aloe vera gel might help with this goal.
2. OTC creams/lotions
There are different over-the-counter (OTC) lotions and creams you can use to treat the rash. Make sure to read the instructions label so you use it properly. Before you reapply the lotion/cream make sure to wash the are then dry it completely.
3. Oatmeal Bath
This might seem like an odd treatment. It turns out oatmeal has anti-inflammation and anti-oxidant features that can help with various skin conditions like poison ivy rashes. This is a basic yet effective DIY remedy. Try soaking in the bathtub for half an hour to get the best results.
There are oral antihistamines (OTC) that can reduce itching/inflammation. You can also find some that can make you sleepy, which can make it easier to fall asleep during bedtime. Antihistamines are also used to reduce allergy symptoms.
5. Rubbing Alcohol
This is a basic remedy that can remove the plant’s oil from your skin. This can help to reduce discomfort. If you’ve contacted poison ivy it’s important to take this step immediately. It’s helpful if you apply alcohol within 10 minutes after exposure. An alternative is alcohol wipes for more convenience.
6. Baking Soda Paste
This is a 3:1 baking soda: water paste that you can apply to your skin. It’s an easy paste to make that you can apply directly to your skin. This can provide relief from the rash so your skin is less itchy. This can help to prevent you from scratching the itchy skin.
Tips for Avoiding Poison Ivy Rashes
1. Remove/kill the plants
If the plant is growing in your yard this is one of the most effective ways to avoid contacting the plant. Make sure to wear heavy gloves to prevent the oil from getting on your skin. You should also wash the gloves completely after you remove the plants.
Make sure to avoid burning poison ivy. The reason is the plant’s oil can travel by smoke and cause people to get rashes that way.
2. Add a barrier cream
Various OTC skincare products can function as a barrier between the plant’s oil and skin. It can help to prevent you from getting a poison ivy rash.
3. Wash your skin/pet’s fur
Make sure to do this within half an hour after being exposed to poison ivy. Use warm soap/water to wash the oil off your skin. Make sure to also scrub underneath the fingernails. It can help to prevent getting a rash.
You might have to wash your skin up to an hour or so after contacting the plant. If that happens you can still lower how serious the rash is.
4. Cover your skin
Make sure to wear protective clothing to help protect your skin. This includes socks, shoes/boots, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and even gloves. These are some effective ways to avoid contacting the plant.
5. Avoid poison ivy plants
This can be tougher than it seems. Make sure to know what poison ivy/oak/sumac looks like. This can help you identify the plants and avoid them when you see them while hiking, camping, picnicking, etc.
You can take some basic steps. It’s important to make sure to avoid walking barefoot in the forest so they’re not exposed to the plant’s oils. you should also avoid pitching a tent near the plant so you won’t have to learn how to get rid of poison ivy rash.