Poison ivy is an indigenous plant found in Northern America. It contains urushiol oil which causes a rash when it comes in contact with the skin. It is so dangerous that almost half the inhabitants of the United States of America are allergic to the oil. Apart from coming into contact with the plant, one can even get a rash by inhaling the smoke that emerges out of the burning plant. The symptoms to look out for a poison ivy rash are itchiness, blisters filled with fluid, and red streaks. How to treat poison ivy? Many times, a mild rash may not require any medical attention and can easily be cured at home by trying out any of the following remedies. Several herbal remedies are also available to get rid of poison ivy fast.
Home Remedies for Poison Ivy
Prior using any treatment at home, the first thing you need to do is wash the exposed skin with water immediately.
1. Baking Soda
Fill a bath tub with lukewarm water (which your skin can tolerate). Add some baking soda to the hot water and soak your body in it for some time. Wash it off with warm water. In case you have blisters, take 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix it in 1 liter of water. Now dip a few gauze pads in this liquid and then put them on the blisters for 10 minutes. Repeat four times a day.
Note – In case, the rash is on the face, make sure you do not apply the baking soda near the eyes.
2. Epsom Salt
Dissolve some epsom salt in water and dip a washcloth in the solution. Place on the affected area and cover with a bandage.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Fill a bath tub with water and add equal amount of oatmeal and apple cider vinegar. Soak your body in this water for a while. Alternatively, dab a cloth in ACV and put it directly on the affected skin.
Add a few cups of buttermilk to your bath water. Bathe with this water. Or else, add some sea salt in the buttermilk and wash the affected area with it.
5. Oatmeal Paste
Add a little bit of water to a cup of oatmeal and mix to form a paste. Apply the paste on the rash and allow it to dry. Repeat again once the paste dries.
Honey is used in the treatment of many skin allergies. In fact, it is known as one of the best poison ivy remedies. Simply apply a thin layer of honey on the affected area. Allow it to dry and then wash it off with water.
7. Banana Peel
Peel a banana and use the inside of the peel to rub on the area of the skin that has been affected by the poison ivy.
8. Calamine Lotion
Always keep some calamine lotion in stock as it is very useful in the treatment for poison ivy. Apply the lotion on the skin every day until the rash reduces.
9. White Vinegar
Another simple and easy-to-use remedy is white vinegar. Simply add a few drops to your bath tub filled with water or apply directly by mixing it with some epsom salt.
Cut a cucumber into large pieces and then mash to make paste. Apply the paste on rash. Alternatively, cut a cucumber into thin slices and apply them directly on the rash. It’s the best way to get rid of poison ivy rash.
11. Rubbing Alcohol
Apply the rubbing alcohol immediately if you come in contact with poison ivy. It will help soothe your skin and provide instant relief.
12. Lemon Juice
Simply rub a lemon slice on the affected area immediately after you come in contact with this plant. You can also apply lemon juice on the rashes. The acid found in lemon reduces the effect of toxic oils.
13. Cold Press
Rinse the affected area in cool running water to reduce the itchiness. You can also apply ice cubes wrapped in a cloth over the rashes to minimize their size.
14. Dish Washing Liquid
Use a dish washing liquid to rinse the affected area. It will remove the oily toxins and give you respite from the inflammation.
15. Cold Coffee
Make a cup of black coffee and let it cool down at room temperature. Then place it in the refrigerator. Take it out after a while and then pour on the rash. The anti-inflammatory properties of coffee will help reduce swelling.
16. Blow Dryer
This method will help pull out the histamine from the skin’s surface. Hold the blow dryer on medium heat near the rash, but do not point it on the same spot for more than 2 -3 seconds as it may aggravate the rash.
Herbal Remedies for Poison Ivy
17. Mint Tea Bath
Fill a tub with hot water and add a few peppermint tea bags to it. Soak your body in the bath tub for a while.
- Alternatively, make peppermint tea by adding a handful of fresh peppermint leaves to hot water and steep them for a few minutes. Wait for it to cool down. Now soak a washcloth in the tea and place it on the skin that is affected by the poison ivy.
18. Jewelweed Infusion
Rub the affected part with jewelweed’s sap. Alternatively, you can also make a soothing balm. Take a pot and put the stems and flowers of the jewelweed plant in it. Pour some water in the pot and then boil it until it reduces to half. Let the water cool down. Then strain it and pour into an ice cube tray and place the tray in the freezer. When the ice blocks are ready, simply remove one and apply on the affected area.
Note – There is no reliable evidence to prove this remedy. Hence, pregnant and lactating women should avoid the use of jewelweed.
19. Aloe Vera Gel
How to cure poison ivy with aloe vera? Take a leaf of aloe vera plant and extract its gel. Apply this gel on the affected skin and leave it on for some time. Later, wash it off and repeat again until the rash reduces.
20. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and itching caused by the rash.
Pluck the leaves of the milkweed plant and apply the milky sap on the rash and blisters. Allow it to dry. This will help ease the symptoms of poison ivy rash.
22. Manzanita Leaf Tea
Add Manzanita leaves to a pot of boiling water and let it simmer on low heat for a while. Strain the tea and allow it to cool down. Dip a cotton ball in the tea and dab it on the affected part.
Take some fresh mugwort leaves and rub them between your palms. Then apply the clustered matter on the rash. Or else, make a tea and apply it directly on the affected area.
Make a paste by grinding 1 cup of water and 3 cups of honeysuckle leaves in a mixer. Strain the juice using a cheese/cotton cloth. Now apply a generous amount of the liquid on the rash with the help of your fingertips to stop the itching.
Rhubarb is an ideal herb for poison ivy rash treatment. Simply open the stem of the plant and rub it on the rash at least three times a day.
26. Witch Hazel
Always keep a bottle of witch hazel handy as it helps in the poison ivy rash treatment and also in treating many other skin conditions. You just need to dab a cotton ball in the witch hazel and apply it on the affected skin.
- Remove the clothes which came in contact with the poisonous plant and wash them separately.
- Take an anti-histamine pill to reduce itching.
- If your pet has been exposed to the poison ivy, bathe it using a shampoo. Wear gloves while giving it bath.
- Don long sleeved clothes and closed-toe shoes while going to places where you may find poison ivy plant.
- Do not scratch your skin, especially if you have blisters.
- Do not expose your skin to the sun as it may cause more itching.
- Don’t burn poison ivy plants as its fumes mat lead to rashes.