Poison ivy rash occurs when the plant toxin, urushiol (one of the deadliest natural poisons on the planet) comes into contact with human skin. It is a condition characterized by swelling, blisters, pain and an amazing amount of itching. Poison ivy, also known as poison oak, is a plant that is native of North America. The plant is notorious for causing allergy and skin rashes among the North Americans. However, the skin rashes are not a cause of serious concern although they do require treatment.
The reason is that people have different degree of skin sensitivity. However, genitals, eyes and lips are the body parts that are more sensitive to the poison ivy sap than other parts.
Skin rashes typically develop within 36 hours of skin exposure to poison ivy. The skin first turns red and inflamed and then breaks out into blisters which are severely itchy. The condition normally lasts for 7-10 days if the symptoms are mild. Severe poison oak allergy in young children often causes nausea, fever and inflammation.
Home Remedies for Poison Ivy
Home remedies provide relief from the symptoms associated with allergy caused by coming in contact with poison ivy.
Once the skin begins to break out in allergic reaction, the need to scratch the skin will intensify. You must resist the temptation to itch as it may damage your skin. To reduce the need to itch apply a thin layer of calamine lotion on the affected areas and let the lotion dry.
Keep up with the re-application of the calamine lotion every time you feel like scratching the skin. Calamine lotion is also useful in reducing the inflammation and redness of the skin.
This green veggie is very cooling. Making a cucumber paste and applying it to the skin helps bring soothing relief to heated itching. For easy itch relief, slice a piece of a cucumber off and let it dry on the affected area.
Add cold water to bath tub and mix 2 cups of boric powder in the water. Soak your body in the boric powder bath for 15-20 minutes. This will greatly reduce the symptoms associated with poison ivy. Your skin will become soothed and the inflammation will also go down.
You can take boric powder bath any number of times during the day. However, the treatment is best done at night before going to sleep; the treatment will reduce the inflammation and itching of the skin which will help you get a peaceful sleep at night.
Scrape the inside white part of the banana peel. Apply the scrapped white substance on the skin affected with poison ivy. The white of the banana peel will help reduce the itching and inflammation of the skin. It will also help in healing of the blisters formed as a result of the allergic reaction.
If you know you have been exposed to the chemicals in poison ivy then immediately wash the affected area with cold water. The symptoms might take some time to appear but you must start the treatment as soon as possible. You must also wash your clothes and any other article that came in direct contact with you or the poison oak plant.
Washing and bathing your pet in cold water is also a good idea especially if it’s your pet who might be the cause of spreading the allergy. Apply ice cubes on the skin immediately to reduce the impact of poison ivy on the skin. Ice cubes will decrease the appearance of rashes as well as reduce the inflammation of the skin.
Burdock roots are very effective in treatment of allergy caused due to poison ivy. Prepare an infusion of burdock roots by steeping 250 grams of the roots in 500 ml of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain the infusion after it cools down and then apply it on the affected areas of the skin using a cotton ball. Allow the infusion to dry. It reduces the swelling on the skin and also takes care of itching.
Goldenseal is an herb that is found mainly in North America. Since centuries the herb is being used to ward off infections and allergies of the skin. It can also be used for treating poison ivy allergy effectively. The herb comes in capsule form and two capsules taken daily for a period of 10 days will help fight the allergy.
Potato has plenty of beneficial effects on the skin and is often used in treating various skin infections and allergies. Potato is also used as a home remedy for treating allergy caused on exposure to poison ivy. Take a potato and peel it. Grind the potato in an electric mixer till you get a fine paste of potato.
Apply the potato paste on the skin affected with rashes. Leave for 20 minutes and then wash off using cold water. The treatment should be done at least three times a day to get relief from the symptoms of the allergy.
Take an aloe vera leaf and remove its green covering. You will get a transparent gel-like substance. Mash the substance to a fine paste form using a little water. Refrigerate the aloe vera paste for a couple of hours.
Take out the paste from the fridge and immediately apply on the affected areas. Aloe vera is very useful in treating inflammation, itching and blisters caused due to allergic reaction to poison ivy plant. Aloe vera treatment should be done at least four times a day to fasten the healing process.
Prepare oatmeal bath soak by adding two cups of oatmeal powder to a tub of cold water. Soak your skin in the oatmeal bath for 20 minutes. Oatmeal will provide you immediate relief from the itching and rashes caused due to poison ivy. The treatment should be done at least 4 times a day. You could also use baking soda or Epsom salt in place of oatmeal powder.