When you spend a day in the woods, or clearing the yard, and then you brush against a plant that caused you to get a rash, which develops into weeping blisters, then you know that you have been in contact with poison ivy. It is possible to treat the itchy area where the plant touched you, though the use of prescription drugs, over the counter medication and other homemade remedies. The rash from such contact can stay for 1 to 3 weeks before it clears up.
How to get rid of poison ivy rash ?
If you know poison ivy, and you happen to accidentally brush against it, there are things that you can do to stave off the resultant itchiness. You should remove all your clothes and put them in a paper bag, preferable plastic. You should jump into a shower and wash your body thoroughly, using a soap that does not contain oils. Dish soap is ideal for this. When you wash the resins from poison ivy early, you give them little time to be absorbed into the skin, thereby avoiding the rash that comes with it. When you shower you should brush the area under your fingernails with a toothbrush to remove any trapped resins, and then throw away the toothbrush.
Rubbing alcohol, and over the counter cleansers can also be used to remove the resins from the skin and also soak up the oils that may have entered the skin. If you touch the poison ivy when you are in the woods, you can look for a stream and bath in it.
Should you develop the rash, then you should avoid scratching the affected areas. Scratching can lead to breaking the skin and this will expose you to secondary infections. Since the rash causes the area top feel hot, you should use an ice pack to cool it off. You can also use a plastic bag and rubber bands to keep the area in ice. You should also let the area dry by air since this serves to cool it down.
The bath water that you use should be warm and not hot, and you can use aluminum acetate or oatmeal in the bath water.
Calamine lotion or hydro-cortisone can be used to bring down the itchiness. These are applied topically. If the topical remedies do not work, you can take oral antihistamines. Although these may offer mild relief from the itching, they are best taken at night since they induce drowsiness and this will help you sleep.
Home remedies for Poison Ivy Rash
Boil cracked acorns in water, and strain the nuts out. Let the liquid cool for a while, and then apply it to the affected areas.
Another method involves making a paste of baking soda and water in a ratio of 3:1. The paste when applied to the affected area will pull the water out of the blisters. You can also use oatmeal if you do not have any baking soda.
Another method involves the use of buttermilk or yoghurt. This is not applicable for people who are allergic to dairy products. The proteins found in these products serve to draw out the fluids that are in the blisters.
Remember that you should wash the area with dish soap which breaks down the resins just as it does with the oils of dirty plates.
You can also use chamomile tea which has anti-inflammatory properties. Place 12 tea bags in the bath water, before taking a dip in it.
The juice from a watermelon rind draws out the water and also acts as a cold compress especially if the melon was chilled.
What is the prevention of poison ivy allergies?
The first thing you should do is go through the Internet and see pictures of this plant. Study it well, such that you can identify it at any time. It has 3 shiny leaves and a red stem and grows as a vine. It can be found growing mainly along river banks and lake shores.
If you came in contact with the ivy when you were gardening, you should wash everything that you used for that task. The tools should be cleaned with bleach or rubbing alcohol. The clothes and gardening gloves should be laundered on their own using hot water.
If your pets have been exposed to poison ivy, you should bathe them well. Although these animals are not sensitive to poison ivy, the oils may become trapped in their fur, and when you pet them, transfer the oils to yourself. Always use a pet shampoo and wear rubber gloves.
When you go to places that have poison ivy, you should dress appropriately. Unfortunately, people who go for walks along river banks and lake shores wear shorts hoping to have a dip in the water. If you are not careful, the dip may come sooner than you expected after coming in contact with the ivy.
Poison Ivy Rash Pictures