Monday, July 01, 2013

Poison Ivy Relief

I must've come in contact with poison ivy and/or sumac while working in the yard last week. I wore gloves but not long sleeves--my arms are very itchy and rashy. 

I began googling and researching poison ivy after my mom suggested that's what it sounded like. As I read the symptoms of poison ivy/sumac/oak, I realized that it completely described my mystery rash last fall for which I eventually needed steroids to get rid of. So this may be the second time I've gotten poison ivy in under a year.

Awareness is huge--I now recognize that we have poison ivy and sumac on our property and can take care to prevent coming in contact with it in the future. I've washed my shoes, gloves and gardening tools since the oil from the plants that causes the rash can stay on these things a long time. I don't want to keep coming in contact with this stuff!

But in the meantime, it itches. Really bad. What's a girl to do?

I've been using calamine lotion and aloe vera gel. These do help to relieve the itching but what has helped the most so far is baking soda and apple cider vinegar!

  • Mix small amount of baking soda and water into a paste and apply to rash.
  • Let dry. It will be dry in a couple of minutes and will start to flake off.
  • Rinse off baking soda mixture with cool water and carefully pat dry with towel. Vigorous rubbing can intensify the itch.
  • Spray or pour apple cider vinegar over rash. This will burn but only for a minute or two. (Since the rash is on my arms, I let them drip dry over the sink for a minute.)
With this method, I usually have no itching for about 1.5 hours and then only tolerable itching up to 2.5 hours. Sweet relief!  The rash seems to be starting to dry up too!

I'd rather not use stronger creams and medications unless absolutely necessary, although if I get desperate enough, I have no trouble resorting to those. But I'm glad this natural inexpensive method is working for me right now.

Do you have any poison ivy remedies to share?


Rhonda Sue said...

My children stopped getting poison ivy when we started using homemade lye soap. We lived in the country then and they played at the creek and in the pastures as much as they could. That lye soap was primitive but really helped their rashes.

Hope you ind your source and can stop it.

Anonymous said...

I've only had it once, but it was awful! If I ever get it again, I will try your remedies.

Katie said...

I've never had poison ivy, Mary Ann ~ and I'm sorry to hear you came into contact with it!

Have you tried an oatmeal bath or paste?

Hope you are able to find some relief and heal up very soon!


Arlene said...

Great tip! I've never heard of that remedy before. I'll tuck it away for future reference. :) I haven't "visited" you in quite a while, Mary Ann; I hope you're doing well (and that the poison ivy is finished bothering you now). :D