Nasty, irritating, uncomfortable. Poison ivy is the worst, but you can find relief right at home.
You've been out scouting, turkey hunting, or just for a relaxing walk in the woods. The next day, you wake up with an unforgiving itch. The red rash gives it away: you have poison ivy. It happens to almost everyone. In fact. even if you are "immune" to poison ivy, there's still a chance of developing an allergy later in life.
Urushiol, the nasty oil on poison ivy, is what causes the reaction. The oil can remain active for up to a year, but resist the urge to burn your clothes. Just wash everything. Next, look for relief in the convenience of your own home.
1. Baking Soda
Baking Soda works great on many rashes and is one of the best-known home remedies for poison ivy as well. It can be used in two forms: a paste or a bath. You can make a baking soda paste using a 3-to-1 mix of baking soda and water. Apply the paste directly to the affected area and let it dry. When it starts to flake off, gently wash off the rest. To make a bath, add half a cup of baking soda to the tub and soak.
2. Oatmeal Paste
Another great line of defense is cooking a small amount of oatmeal and applying it while it's still warm (but not so hot that it burns). As an option, you can also add baking soda to ease the itch. Make the oatmeal thick, so it sticks when applied, and allow it to cool while on the skin. The heat from the paste will soothe the skin while the oatmeal dries up the rash.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a well-known treatment for toxins. It has the ability to suck poison out of your skin and help prevent the spread and duration of the rash. Apply the vinegar directly to the skin or make a warm compress from a towel and apply as needed.
4. Banana Peel
This one's new to me (and one of the weirdest home remedies for poison ivy I've seen), but if it works, it works. Keep the peel of a banana, and rub the inside of it on the affected area. It provides a cooling effect and relieves the itch.
Cool as a cucumber on poison ivy... all right, bad joke, but for some instant relief, you can cut a cucumber into slices and place them on the rash to alleviate the effects. Leave it on until it dries. You can also blend the cucumber into a paste and apply it to the skin.
6. Watermelon Rind
Watermelon will also cool skin and ease the symptoms. Apply the inside of the rind to the skin to reduce itching: the juice neutralizes the toxins in the skin.
Everyone is different, and your results may vary. Ultimately, if your symptoms are too strong or the rash spreads too much, go see a doctor. But while you're waiting it out, hopefully these home remedies for poison ivy can provide you with some relief.