Warm weather often means spending a lot more time outdoors. The fair weather gives us the opportunity to swim, hike, camp outside, and play in the woods.
And with that opportunity comes the possibility of contracting the dreaded P.I., a.k.a. poison ivy.
Believe it or not, there are ways to avoid looking like a piece of cotton candy after you slather yourself with calamine lotion.
There are natural alternatives you can use at home that will soothe the itch and burn that occurs after coming into contact with poison ivy.
Here is a step-by-by step guide of how you should treat poison ivy.
- Prevent it’s spread – if you come into contact with poison ivy, do not wait for the rash to spread. Immediately wash the area with dish soap and cold water. It is also a good idea to wash your clothes.
- Treat the affected areas – use one or more the below remedies to treat the rash
- Don’t scratch! – we know this is the hardest part, but do your best to not scratch the affected areas. Scratching increases the likelihood of the ivy spreading and will also cause you to damage your skin
Here are 13 natural remedies to treat poison ivy:
1) Dish Soap and Cold Water
The first thing you should do after coming into contact with poison ivy is to prevent it’s spread. DO NOT wait for the rash to start. If you know you’ve come into contact with the plant, here’s what you should do immediately.
Wash the area with dish soap and cold water. Then jump in the shower and wash with some dish soap. It’s a good idea to wash the clothes you’re wearing as well. The dish soap, which cuts grease, will help remove an oily substance called urushiol which is what helps the poison ivy spread and cause a rash.
This will only work immediately the following initial contact. Once your rash starts, your best bet is to try these rest of these remedies.
2) Cold Compress
Place a cool compress on your rash whenever it flares up. It will help reduce the itchiness and can stop you from scratching. Scratching is a big no-no as it can further spread and inflame your rash, as well as cause blisters and infection.
You can mash up cucumbers to make a paste or simply lay some slices over rash. This will also cool down and soothe the burning and itching area.
4) Witch Hazel
Take a cotton ball and soak it in some witch hazel and gently rub it over your inflamed rash.
5) Banana Peel
Cool your rash down by rubbing the inside of a banana peel over the affected area.
Brew a strong cup of tea and dip a cotton ball in it, then dab the affected area and let it dry. You can repeat this until you feel relief.
7) Baking Soda Bath or Paste
You can place 1/2 a cup of baking soda in a bath tub with warm water and soak for a bit. You can also try mixing 3 tsp. of baking soda with 1 tsp. of water to form a paste that you can use to spread over your rash and relieve irritation. Place on the affected area and let it dry.
8) Watermelon Rind
Rubbing a watermelon rind on your rash is also another way to cool it down and stop the itching.
Take a piece of muslin cloth and pour some oatmeal in it. Tie it off so you have a pouch of oatmeal and let it seep in a bowl of water. Squeeze out your pouch into the water and use the water to wash the area with a rash.
It will leave a white film when it dries and that’s what’s going to suck out the water in your blisters. Leave the pouch in the water and squeeze it once you start itching again.
You can also add some oatmeal to your bath water.
10) Apple Cider Vinegar
This sounds like burn city but pouring a tsp. of apple cider vinegar on your rash will draw the poison out from your pores.
11) Himalayan Crystal Salt
Pour one cup of the salt into your tub and soak for 20 minutes.
12) Aloe Vera Gel
Pour some aloe vera gel onto the inflamed area to reduce itching, swelling, and discomfort.
13) Lemon Juice and Honey
Juice a lemon and add two tsp. of honey and place it over your rash with a cotton swab. The honey will draw the fluid from your blisters and shrink them, while the lemon juice works with the honey to speed healing.
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