The weather is getting warmer and that means more time outside! If your family is headed to the woods, you are likely to encounter all sorts of things – one of the most common being poison ivy.
As a child I was told “Leaves of three, let it be” but sometimes you still come into contact with it. Not everyone who comes into contact will actually react to it — only about 7 out of 10 people will. For those unlucky one’s who react to poison ivy, you want relief and you want it fast.
What is Poison Ivy?
Poison ivy comes from a weed looking plant that secrets a toxin called urushoil. When your skin comes into contact with this it causes contact dermatitis. Usually, you get poison ivy by coming into contact with any part of the plant itself. However, you can also get it from coming in contact with something else that has come into contact with the plant – such as a dog that has rolled in it.
Poison Ivy Symptoms
Can You Treat Poison Ivy Naturally?
Yes! Here are some ways to soothe the itch of poison ivy:
Oatmeal and Baking Soda
Oatmeal and baking soda work wonders on the itch. Make a paste or add to a bath to sooth the itching. For a bath, add about 3/4 a cup to warm bath water.
Jewelweed can often be found near poison ivy and can be crushed and applied to the affected area. You also might be able to find salves or lotions that already contain it.
I simply love aloe vera. This plant can help heal the irritated skin – it is very anti-inflammatory and soothing. If you keep a plant like I do (they are really low maintenance and you will always have some on hand) you simply cut off a piece of it and apply to the affected area.
Tea Tree Oil
Make sure you have washed the area and then apply tea tree oil. The antiseptic oil helps to dry up the rash quickly — especially if it is wanting to blister. It also helps with the itching. You will likely need to reapply every few hours. (In order to not irritate your already irritated skin you might want to use a carrier oil)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apply to the rash as need to reduce the itching.
Reduces the itching and swelling and can help to stop blisters.
Things to Keep In Mind…
- Don’t scratch! Scratching just irritates the rash and you are likely to make it much worse. You also run the risk of ending up with a scar from scratching. Use one of the remedies above to soothe the itch.
- Try to keep it dry. Keeping it dry will help it heal faster!
- Clean up. Make sure to wash whatever you came into contact to get it — clothes, shoes, the dog.