You may have noticed that poison ivy is running rampant along our roadsides, trailsides and on the edges of your property. Or perhaps you have a pet that runs through poison ivy and then smothers you with affection...and poison ivy oils. Either way, here are a few natural remedies to help treat the itchy, red rash that poison ivy leaves behind.
1. Baking Soda
One of the biggest perks about baking soda is that it’s usually available in most kitchens, so this could work in a pinch. Just mix three teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water to create a paste. Then apply it to the affected areas to help stop the itching and irritation.
If you have a poison ivy rash all over your body, you can also add a half cup of baking soda to a bath tub of warm water and soak in the solution.
Dabbing apple cider vinegar on your skin can help to relieve itching and might even speed up the healing process by drying out the rash. Be prepared, though, because the vinegar might make your skin sting a little when you first apply it. Some people recommend soaking a paper bag in the vinegar first, then applying the bag to the itchy areas. You can reapply the vinegar as many times throughout the day as you need to to keep you from scratching and prolonging your skin’s heal time.
3. Aloe Vera
You might be familiar with using aloe to soothe sunburnt skin. Well, it can have the same soothing and calming effect on poison ivy rashes, too, thanks to its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties. If you happen to have an aloe vera plant on hand, you can cut open a leave and squeeze the gel out from inside. Otherwise, you can apply store-bought aloe gel to your skin to get some relief.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another natural anti-inflammatory, so it can help to reduce redness, itching, and irritation. As an added bonus, tea tree oil also has antimicrobial properties, so it can also help to prevent infection if you do accidentally scratch poison ivy blisters open.
5. Ocean Water
If you aren't anywhere near the ocean, never fear! Dissolve one ounce of sea salt in a quart of water. Then, dip a cotton ball in the sea salt solution and gently dab it on your skin. The sea salt helps to dry out the rash for speedier healing.
6. Witch Hazel
Made from the leaves and bark of the Hamamelis virginiana plant, a liquid distillation of witch hazel can be applied topically to reduce itching and swelling.
7. Cool Compresses
Applying cool compresses 15 to 20 minutes per hour can soothe itchy skin. Soak a clean washcloth in cold water, wring it out, and apply it to itchy skin areas.
DID YOU KNOW? Poison ivy can only be spread if you still have the oils on your skin. The rash itself isn’t contagious.