You must have seen poison ivy plants in your backyard or near your house but do you know what exactly poison ivy is? Poison ivy (toxicodendron radicans and toxicodendron rydbergii) is a shrub that is commonly seen in America (except Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the West Coast). These plants grow tiny white or yellow berries which are often eaten by birds. These birds scatter the poison ivy seeds here end there and hence you can find these plants everywhere.
Facts about Poison Ivy
- As many as 85% of people who come in contact with poison ivy tend to develop an allergic reaction.
- Over 350,000 Americans experience allergic reactions to poison ivy every year.
- Poison ivy shrubs contain a milky substance called urushiol oil in its roots, leaves, and stem. It causes allergic reactions in the form of an itchy rash in people who come in contact with the poison ivy plant.
- The most dangerous type of poison ivy rashes occurs to people who inhale the urushiol fumes when the shrub is burnt. This can even land people in emergency situations.
- The allergic reaction to poison Ivy occurs within 12-48 hours of exposure and can last up to 2-3 weeks.
Symptoms of Poison Ivy Rash
Red Patches and Swelling: You may see some inflamed red patches on your skin wherever the urushiol oil came in contact with your skin. These affected areas might also swell up in some time.
Itchy Blisters and Rash: The itchy rash is the characteristic of the poison ivy allergy. You may also notice some blisters and pimple like bumps all over the affected areas.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Poison Ivy Rash
Do not worry when you get poison ivy rashes on your skin as various types of home remedies are available to prevent and cure it.
You can get rid of these rashes by adopting any of the 3 methods like washing your skin, taking bath and application of home remedies on the skin. Let’s read on to know more
1. Cold Water
Immediately after exposure to poison ivy, the first aid should be to wash it with the running cold water, so that the urushiol oil on the surface of the skin is washed off. Apply soap thoroughly and clean every nook and corner of your hands, arms, legs or whichever area was exposed. Ensure to clean your nails with a brush so that the residue of urushiol can also be removed. This way the rash won’t spread to the other parts of the body and you will get some relief from poison ivy rash.
Lemon is a natural astringent that can cut toxic urushiol oil and help you get rid of poison ivy rash immediately. As soon as you are exposed to poison ivy, cut a lemon in half and rub it all over your affected areas. Wash the affected area with cool water to heal the poison ivy rash.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a magic remedy for many problems. It is also a very effective remedy for poison ivy rash. Soak a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar and apply immediately on the exposed areas. The vinegar will cut the toxic urushiol oil and soothe the rash. Wash the area after some time and pat dry with a cotton towel.
4. Black Coffee
If you are exposed to poison ivy, the immediate first aid could also be to reach out for the leftover cold black coffee in your coffee machine and pour it over your rash. Coffee contains an anti-inflammatory substance called chlorogenic acid that can get rid of poison ivy rash. Dip some cotton in the black coffee and apply on the affected areas. After some time wash the area with cool water to get relief.
5. Oatmeal Bath
One of the effective remedies for poison ivy rash is the oatmeal bath. Take a cup of oatmeal, grind it into a fine powder and add it to your bath water. Soak yourself in this oatmeal bath for 20-30 minutes. You can also add a handful of baking soda to this oatmeal bath for better relief.
6. Tea Bath
Fill in your bath tub with some lukewarm water and throw in 10-12 chamomile tea bags to it. In case you do not have chamomile tea, you can put black tea bags. Soak and rest in this warm tea bath. Tea contains tannic acid which is an anti-inflammatory substance that can soothe your itchy poison ivy rash.
7. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt bath offers one of the fastest ways to get rid of poison ivy rashes. Fill in your bathtub with some water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt and soak yourself in this water for 10-15 minutes. It soothes the itchy rash caused by urushiol. It also reduces the inflammation and redness.
8. Aloe Vera Gel
Applying some aloe vera gel on your rash can help you beat that nasty rash and soothe the burning sensation of poison ivy rash. Apply it several times during the day. As long as the gel will remain on your skin, it will keep your rash cool.
Apply cold yoghurt to your itchy rash several times throughout the day. The proteins from the yogurt help reduce the inflammation in the pus-filled blisters of poison ivy rash.
Make a paste out of a fresh cucumber and apply it to your rashes and blisters. Cucumber cools down the burning sensation of poison ivy rash and provides instant relief. You can also make ice cubes out of cucumber juice and apply it to cool your burning rash.
11. Banana Peel
Banana peel is also an effective remedy in cooling down the burning sensation and itchy rash. Take the banana peel and place the inside skin on your rashes and press it gently. Leave it for a few minutes to cure the poison ivy rashes.
Prevention from Poison Ivy Rash
- Always wear protective vinyl gloves and boots when around the poison ivy shrub. Or else spray a deodorant liberally on your skin. It blocks the pores and creates a protective layer on your skin.
- Wash the affected area as soon as it comes in contact with poison ivy. Remove your clothes and wash the affected area immediately.
- Use an Ivy block cream if you are prone to Ivy rash.
If the rash does not subside or results in fever, visit the doctor immediately and get medical help without further delay.
Have you ever experienced the poison ivy rashes on your skin? If yes then what home remedy did you use to get rid of poison ivy rashes? Is it different from the remedies that are mentioned in this article? Share it with us.