Coming into contact with the poison ivy plant can cause an itchy and irritating rash in about 50 percent of people. The rash stems from an urushiol – an oily resin – sensitivity. Mild rashes will not require medical treatment, but they can still be incredibly irritating. This is where home remedies for poison ivy come in. These remedies can help to promote comfort and ease the itching and irritation so that you feel better while waiting for the rash to completely go away.
Cucumbers are cooling and they can help to soothe the rash and improve the health of the skin which may slightly shorten how long the rash persists. You can simply slice up a cucumber and apply the slices to the affected area and let them sit. You can lightly wrap some gauze around this to keep the slices in place if you need to move around a bit. You can also make a paste with the cucumbers by mashing them up and then apply this paste to the affected area.
Using banana peels to soothe poison ivy is an old wives’ tale, but it actually works. You do not use the actual banana, but just the inside of the peel. Just rub this onto the rash for a cooling sensation. There is no need to keep the peel on the rash, but once you rub it on, make sure to not wash the affected the area for at least 15 minutes so that the effects have time to work.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Witch Hazel
Both, apple cider vinegar, as well as witch hazel, are helpful for just about everything and poison ivy is no exception. Vinegar helps to draw the toxins out of the rash to accelerate healing and reduce the discomfort. It is very cheap and easy to store for many years. In fact, vinegar does not expire in many years. Take apple cider vinegar and a brown paper bag, soak the bag and then apply this directly to the rash. This quickly alleviates the itching.
Take baking soda and water and create a paste. A paste that is thick so that it stays in place usually requires a teaspoon of water and three teaspoons of baking soda. Apply the paste onto the rash and allow it to dry and flake off on its own. The alkalinity of the baking soda helps to draw out the toxins and speed up healing. If you have oozing blisters from poison ivy, take a quart of water and two teaspoons of baking soda and mix them together. Grab some sterile gauze pads and allow these to fully soak in the mixture, then take them out wet and place them onto the blisters for 10 minutes. Never pop the blisters first because these help to protect you and popping them increases the risk of infection.
Oatmeal is one of the most popular home remedies for poison ivy. An oatmeal bath soothes the itching related to the rash, but if you do not have time to soak in oatmeal, there are other options. Make some plain oatmeal and make sure it is not hot and that it sits for a few minutes so that it gets really thick. Then, just use this as a paste and apply it directly to the rash for at least 15 minutes.
Fresh aloe vera right from the plant helps to soothe the burn associated with the rash. If you do not have access to a fresh aloe plant, there are drugstore options that are all-natural that will work pretty much the same. Just apply the aloe directly to the rash and enjoy the cooling and soothing sensation. This can be applied as often as you need it without any negative consequences.
Most people avoid rubbing alcohol when it comes to the skin because it can burn, but it will not burn when used for poison ivy. This works when you apply it right after coming into contact with the poisonous plant because it can break down the urushiol so that it is not able to do as much damage. For some people, this prevents the rash completely, but for others, it helps to minimize the severity of the rash and the symptoms it causes.
Lemon juice is a natural astringent due to its acidity which helps to eliminate oil. It is said to break through the toxic oils that cause the rash when you apply it right after coming into contact with poison ivy. This helps to prevent the full strength of urushiol from causing issues.
Poison ivy rashes can burn and cause intense itching. Cold compresses can help to calm each of these when applied directly to the rash. When applying ice, make sure to put a washcloth between the ice and the skin and do not leave it in place for longer than 20 minutes or else you put yourself at risk for skin damage. You can also soak a washcloth or sterile gauze in cool water and apply this directly to the rash.