Poison ivy is a three-leaf plant, easily found in the US, that can cause a bad rash when it touches your skin. Poison ivy rash is irritating and unbearable. This is not contagious and it goes away on its own in one to three weeks. However, there are several home remedies that will relieve itching and reduce rash to spread all over the body.
How Do You Get Poison Ivy Rash?
Poison ivy grows everywhere in the United States except Hawaii, Alaska, and some deserts in Nevada. This is the most common plant-caused rash in the US and affects as many as 50 million Americans each year, almost 70%-85% of the population. You can get a poison ivy rash when you touch live or dead ivy plants. It may also happen if you touch animals, clothes, tools, or anything that has come into contact with poison ivy in the last 24 hours.
A compound in the sap of the plants causes the rash. This compound is called urushiol. This causes redness and swelling followed by blisters and severe itching. The rash can show up within minutes or up to 72 hours. It normally takes about two weeks to heal.
10 Home Remedies to Relieve Poison Ivy Rash
Poison ivy rash normally clears up for about 2 weeks. However, this rash is extremely itchy and can make it difficult to resume our daily activities. Here are several home remedies that may help to relieve the itchiness and reduce spreading to the other parts of the body.
Cucumber has properties that help soothe the affected area of the skin. This may slightly shorten the recovery time for the rash. Slicing cucumber is one of the simplest remedies for poison ivy rash. You can also make a paste out of the cucumbers by mashing it and then, apply the mixture onto the rash.
2. Banana Peels
Don’t throw away those banana peels yet, as you can use this as a remedy for your rash. Banana peels provide a cooling sensation and relieve itching. You should rub it on the rash and leave it alone for about 15 minutes. Then rinse the affected area after time is up.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
With its many health benefits, it is no surprise that apple cider vinegar is also used for poison ivy rashes. Apple cider vinegar acts as an astringent that causes body tissues to tighten, which relieve irritated skin. You can also use apple cider vinegar as a cold compress or a spray.
4. Baking Soda
Another effective home remedy for poison ivy rash is baking soda. To make a treatment, add a cup of baking soda to a warm bath and soak in it for 15 minutes. This will help reduce the itch and ease the redness.
5. Oatmeal Bath
Aside from being a hearty breakfast, oatmeal is also an effective and safe remedy for poison ivy. This also helps in other skin-related conditions. To use this, grind the oats into a fine powder using a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor. Then, add the fine powder of oats into the tub and soak in it for at least 15 minutes. You can also apply it directly to the rash for better relief.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is widely used to treat minor burns, insect bites, and other skin issues. This is also an effective way to treat poison ivy rashes. Aloe vera gel is conveniently available at stores. Simply apply the aloe vera to the rash and allow it to sit for 15-30 minutes.
7. Rubbing Alcohol
Using rubbing alcohol to your skin immediately after contact with poison ivy will help by drying out the rash, preventing it from spreading. It is highly advisable to bring rubbing alcohol with you if you are going outdoors where poison ivy can potentially be.
8. Lemon Juice
This is considered as a natural astringent used on poison ivy. The acid in the juice reduces the rash and redness surrounding it.
9. Cold Compress
A cold, wet compress helps reduce itching and inflammation of the rash. This could also prevent you from scratching the rash. To make a cold compress, run a clean washcloth under cold water. Squeeze out the excess water, wrap it around some ice cubes, then apply to the skin for 15 to 30 minutes. You can repeat this as many times as needed when the rash starts to itch.
10. Running Water
One of the fastest remedies that you can do when you make contact with poison ivy is to immediately wash off the affected body parts to a running cool water. This will help minimize the size and the prevent spreading of rash.
A poison ivy rash is the most common allergic reactions in the US. The rash usually heals in one to three weeks. Poison ivy rash may not need medical attention and can be treated with a few home remedies. However, if the rash does not go away and symptoms worsen, you should immediately talk to your doctor.