Best 8 Effective DIY Home Remedies for Poison Ivy


 Unlike its name, the poison ivy is not poisonous; but it does lead to a situation called contact dermatitis, a condition characterized by itching sensation and rashes. According to studies, the poison ivy produces urushiol oil which, when comes in contact with the skin, leads to these symptoms. It can easily be cured with the help of home remedies for poison ivy.

Being tenacious, urushiol will attach itself to anything, i.e., your shoes, camping gear, gardening equipment, as well as clothes. And the worst thing about it is that even a billionth of a gram of this oil is enough to trigger the allergic reactions. In some cases, the prey doesn’t even realize the symptoms of exposure, until the itching and rash break out in two hours to ten days.

8 Natural DIY Home Remedies for Poison Ivy

There are several home remedies for poison ivy which you can use to get rid of mild to moderate level rashes. But in case if the rashes become severe or intense, i.e., cause swelling, inflammation, and lots of itching, then we recommend you to get yourself checked by a doctor immediately.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar home remedies for poison ivy

The apple cider vinegar for poison ivy assists in relieving the patient of the itching sensation caused by the allergy. It also prevents the formation of blisters by preventing the person from scratching the rashes.

  • In a pot, add a half cup of vinegar along with equal quantity of water
  • Thoroughly mix both of the ingredients
  • Rinse the infected area of the skin by using this solution
  • Repeat the process on as needed basis
Note: Even though ordinary white vinegar can be used for the treatment, but the usage of apple cider vinegar usually gives better results.
  1. Honey and lemon juice home remedies for poison ivy

Thanks to the strong astringent properties of lemon juice, it can help in the reduction of different kinds of boils and skin allergies. Moreover, its effectiveness gets a huge boost, when used in combination with honey.

  • Take a fresh lemon and squeeze out its juice in a cup
  • To it, add two TBSP of honey
  • Mix both ingredients until you get a fine paste
  • Apply this mixture on the rash with the help of a cotton swab.
  1. Oatmeal home remedies for poison ivy

You can estimate the usefulness of oatmeal by the fact that several companies include it in their ready-to-use products. But you can prepare your own poison ivy dawn soap by putting uncooked, plain oatmeal to use.

  • Take a clean piece of muslin cloth and put a cupful of oatmeal in it
  • Tie this cloth and place it in a pot of water
  • Extract the milk by squeezing the bundle in the water
  • With this liquid, wash the affected area of the skin
  • Repeat this process whenever you feel the itching sensation

Alternatively, you can add oatmeal to your lukewarm bathing water, and then soak in the tub for about 30 minutes to get relief from the symptoms.

  1. Cucumbers home remedies for poison ivy

Cucumbers possess excellent cooling capabilities and soothe the rash in almost no time. Moreover, they improve the overall skin health and thus, significantly reduce the rash lifetime.

  • Take a fresh cucumber
  • Slice it into small pieces
  • Place these sliced fragments on the rashes
  • Let them stay there for some time
  • If you need to move a lot, then secure the slices by wrapping a wire gauze around them

Note: You can also mash the cucumber pieces and make a smooth paste, and then apply it on the skin.

  1. Rubbing alcohol home remedies for poison ivy

The urushiol oil can be removed from the skin with the help of rubbing alcohol. It reduces the discomfort and relieves the person of the itching sensation. According to FDA (the U.S Food and Drug Administration), unless you treat your belongings with water or rubbing alcohol, the particles of urushiol oil will remain on them, even after several years. So, it is always a good idea to carry a few alcohol wipes with you, mainly if you are going on a hike or camping.

  1. Cold compress home remedies for poison ivy

The wet, cold compresses can significantly assist in the reduction of inflammation and itching. You can increase the beneficial effects of the compress by soaking them in astringent liquids, i.e., apple cider vinegar, aluminum acetate, chilled black tea, etc.

  • To prepare a compress, place a clean piece of washcloth under the running cold water
  • Remove the excess water by wringing the cloth
  • Put it on the affected areas of the skin for about 15 to 30 minutes
  • Repeat this process at least three times a day
  1. Baking Soda based home remedies for poison ivy

According to AAD (American Academy of Dermatology), adding a cup of baking soda to the bathtub can help in treating the rash. As it is a natural cleaning agent, it will soak up the urushiol oil particles. On the other hand, you can try these treatments:

Method 1 (to prevent the blistering):

  • Mix equal quantities of water with baking soda to make a thick paste
  • Use this mixture as a topical application for poison ivy rash
  • Let it dry by keeping it there for a few minutes

Method 2 (in case if the blisters burst):

  • Take two TBSP of baking soda in a cup
  • Add a quart of water to it and stir
  • Use it to wash your skin
  • Dip a piece of sterile gauze in the prepared solution
  • Use it as a disinfecting bandage by placing it on the broken blister
  • Frequently change the dressing

Method 3 (alternative home remedies for poison ivy):

  • In a cup of fresh water, add a TBSP of baking soda for poison ivy
  • Stir it well to achieve a thorough mixing
  • Rinse the rash affected skin with this mixture
  • Repeat this process twice or thrice every day
  1. Calamine and cortisone home remedies for poison ivy

You can help to ease the itchiness and rash by using over-the-counter calamine and cortisone poison ivy cream products. Ensure that you wash the affected areas of your skin, and dry them, before applying them. And don’t forget to follow the directions given on the label. However, you can also use cucumber slices, Aloe Vera gel, or a mixture of water and baking soda on your skin.

Preventive measures against poison ivy

As the urushiol oil can spread to others, the best bet against it would be making use of preventive measures before you get it. The same also goes right, if you are going to spend a day out in the woods. As you never know, when you might step into the poison ivy territory, therefore it is better for you to use your dress as the frontline defense. Cover as much of your skin as possible by wearing:

  • Hats
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Socks
  • Heavy Rubber Gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Long pants

When to see a doctor?

Most of the time, your contact dermatitis will go out without requiring any medical treatment. But it is essential to get yourself checked by a medical expert in case if:

  • the rash covers over 25 percent of the skin (a significant portion of the body)
  • it is present near genitals, mouth or eyes, and contains soft yellow scabs or pus
  • the situation does not improve
  • you have difficulty in swallowing or breathing or are suffering from fever
  • swelling is near the eyes

So, if you are suffering from any of these situations, then we recommend you to give your doctor a visit, before trying any of the home remedies for poison ivy.

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