Poison ivy rash affects nearly 85% Americans at some point of time in their lives. Some people need only one exposure to the group of plants, while others need to be exposed multiple times to develop a rash. Once exposed to Poison Ivy, the rash might last for nearly 10-14 days. In a broader sense, poison ivy rash is a form of contact dermatitis-an allergy that leads to eczema like rashes characterized by watery, itchy blisters on the palms, hands, face, feet, legs and other parts of the body. If you are wondering how to treat poison ivy rash naturally at home, read on, we have just the right remedies for you:
1. Clean exposed skin
This is the first step in the poison ivy rash treatment home remedy. You could use some rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl) to remove the resin (Urushiol) that causes the poison ivy rash. Do avoid returning to the area having the Poison Ivy because your skin will become more sensitive to the Urushiol resin. Remember that even your pets can accidently bring in Urushiol from the woods-so avoid petting your pet cat/dog if you are healing poison ivy rash at home.
2. Wash your skin and clothes
The resin from the Ivy (Urushiol) tends to remain stuck to the skin and clothing. So make sure you wash it off using cold water. Avoid using hot water as this opens up the skin pores and causes the Urushiol to further penetrate it. Also avoid soap for washing off poison Ivy as it might spread the Urushiol causing the rash to spread to healthy parts of the skin. Remove clothing and toss it in the washer. Use hot water and detergent to wash it off completely. Dry it on the highest setting.
3. Take regular shower after 20 minutes
Once you have washed your skin with cold water, wait for up to 20 minutes to take a regular shower with hot water and mild soap.
4. Clean shoes, socks and other infected gear
Poison ivy what to do– One of the first steps of Poison ivy home treatment is to contain the Urushiol resin from spreading. Wear a pair of latex gloves and clean your shoes, socks, tools and other outdoor exposed gear with alcohol and water. You might need to bathe your pets as well.
5. Take antihistamine for the itch
If your poison ivy rash on the face is itchy, take 25 to 50 mg antihistamine like Benadryl for the itch at bedtime. You might also need to get your doctor to prescribe Atarax (hydroxyzine) for daytime use. This is one of the best poison ivy itch relief remedies.
6. Keep the skin cool
Poison ivy rashes get worse due to the heat-so avoid going outdoors in the sun. Stay in an air-conditioned room and, if needed, apply some cool compresses to the blisters and rash. Alcohol can also give relief as it cools the skin once it evaporates.
7. Use hydrocortisone cream
Hydrocortisone cream (0.5% to 1%) can also be used for drying out poison ivy rash on face. This generally gives relief for mild poison ivy rash. For severe rashes, your doctor might prescribe a stronger steroidal cream. Note that these creams will not halt the poison ivy rash or make it go away faster-however; they will certainly give relief from itching. Use them immediately after exposure to the Poison Ivy.
8. Best treatment for poison ivy blisters
The best way to heal poison ivy rash faster is to dry it out:
- Apply calamine lotion on the face, hands, legs or feet where the blisters are present
- Apply a paste of baking soda with water. This removes the sting from the poison ivy rash
- Add some powdered oatmeal to the bath water. You can also use Aveeno® oatmeal based products for healing poison ivy rash.
- Apply Aluminum Hydroxide gel to quickly dry out the rash and blisters.
- You can use Kaolin to dry out poison ivy
- Apply zinc based creams-Zinc acetate, Zinc carbonate or Zinc oxide -to dry out poison ivy blisters.
- You can also use wet dry compresses on the blisters to dry them out- Mix up a cooling solution of Epsom salts and soak a clean dry cloth in it. Apply the cloth on the rash and keep it on for 15 minutes. Sit under a fan to let the rash dry. The salts help remove the fluid out of the blisters through osmosis. Repeat the process several times a day. Epsom salts will also remove bacteria and reduce the likelihood of infections.
9. Preventing complications
If despite using these poison ivy remedies for face and body the blisters break open and start oozing pus, then know that your rash is infected. Use Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on the rash. If needed, see a doctor.
10. Dexamethasone dosage for poison ivy
In case of very severe poison ivy rash, Dexamethasone may be the only solution. Many doctors also prescribe Prednisone or other steroids in pills or injection forms. Pills need to be taken for 14 days especially if the rash is present on entire body or over 30% of the body. Untreated poison ivy rash lasts for 21 days and with these strong medicines, it can heal within 14 days. You can also try Medrol dose packs for a week but these medications do not work fast enough. Also injections are a better option than pills as they tend to remain longer in the system.
11. Poison oak treatment at home
The following poison ivy rash treatment home remedies can also be used for poison oak treatment:
- Aloe Vera gel-it can help with the itch and inflammation
- Mentholatum ointment which contains camphor
- Hemorrhoid cream-helps drying of the rash
- Organic Apple cider vinegar poison ivy treatment-ACV helps draw out the toxins and keeps the Urushiol out of the pores. Apply a teaspoon of organic and raw Apple Cider Vinegar to the rash or make a cool compress by pouring it on a cotton wad and applying it on the rash.
- Apply Goldenseal paste made by mixing the powdered root with water. Also drink Goldenseal tea to facilitate healing. This is a remedy useful for Poison Oak treatment.
We hope these best remedies for poison ivy treatment help you answer the question ‘what to do for poison ivy?’