The Top 5 Home Remedies for Treating Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Rashes
Summer's here, and that means a lot of us are going to be taking some time off to enjoy the great outdoors. Unfortunately, that also means a lot of us are going to be accidentally running face first into some poison ivy or oak. Instead of suffering through the itch though, why not leave prepared with some easy, homemade remedies to combat that urushiol?
This is a quick and probably the most reliable method for treating poison ivy and oak with some simple off-the-shelf ingredients. You'll need:
- Medicated body powder (such as Gold Bond)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton swabs
Simple clean the afflicted area, dry it thoroughly, then spread a layer of rubbing alcohol over it. Then sprinkle the body powder over the alcohol to create a "paste" of sorts. Continue until the area is completely covered, then wrap it with gauze.
This will keep the area clean and dry, while also helping to alleviate some of the itchiness.
If for whatever reason the itch is not subsiding, or you don't have access to rubbing alcohol, body powder, or gauze, a banana peel can do in a pinch as a temporary solution.
Simply rub the inside of the peel on the irritated area. This should hopefully provide you with a bit of relief as you search for a better cure.
If you're short on body powder, you can also use foods such as potatoes as a substitute. Potato is often used to treat a number of inflammatory conditions, such as sunburn, and works just as well here.
Thoroughly blend the potato in a mixer, then apply that "paste" over the itchy area. Oatmeal is another alternative, either as a paste or added to bathwater for you to soak in.
It is still a good idea to start with rubbing alcohol before applying any anti-itching remedies.
In a pinch, a high-proof alcoholic beverage can be instead of rubbing alcohol to sterilize the area and help prevent infection. Much as you would with a rubbing alcohol, apply it directly to the affected area of skin immediately after coming into contact with the ivy. This works because the alcohol will wash away the urushiol oil, the allergen in poison ivy and oak that causes the itchiness.
If you don't have access to vodka or any high-proof alcohols, vinegar is also a great way to calm down that itch.
If you're really out of luck, and don't have access to any alcohol or food, you can try coffee as a last resort. A cup of cold, black coffee is a popular way to treat poison ivy. Coffee contains chlorogenic acid, which acts an anti-inflammatory and may help soothe the irritation.
As with all of these methods though, the sooner you get it properly washed and sterilized, the sooner it's going to feel better.