How to treat poison ivy rash

Fact Checked

Poison ivy rash is brought about by direct exposure to the poison ivy plant. The sap of these plants contains oil specifically urushiol which is responsible for the allergic reactions and rashes. Brushing against the plant or anything that touches the plant can result to irritations on the skin, itchiness and pain.

Signs of a poison ivy rash

  • Itchiness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Development of painful blisters
    poison ivy rash

    Rinse the affected areas of the body immediately with plenty of water within an hour or two.

Causes

  • Direct contact with the parts of the plant such as the stem, leaves and roots or berries of the plant.
  • Touching contaminated objects with urushiol such as the shoes can cause allergic reactions in years later.
  • Inhaling smoke from the burning plants and cause irritations on the nasal passages or lungs.
  • Touching the body of the person or clothing that is still contaminated with urushiol.

Treatment

  • Rinse the affected areas of the body immediately with plenty of water within an hour or two. Use cold water to close the pores of the skin, prevent further irritations, and wash away the poison from the skin.
  • Dip cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab it over the affected area to stop spreading of poison all over the body and prevent further irritations.
  • If there is difficulty removing the poison from the skin use dish washing soap to prevent spreading of the poison and lessen the development of rashes.
  • Apply ice pack on the affected area to close the pores of the skin and lessen the absorption of poisonous oil into the skin. It also relieves of the blisters that develop on the skin.
  • Remove all contaminated clothing from the body and wash them immediately and separate from other laundry.
  • Prescribed antihistamine to lessen the pain and the itchiness of the body.
  • Apply prescribed corticosteroid cream to lessen the allergic reactions from the poison ivy plant and lessen the pain. Another alternative is using calamine lotion to lessen the severe itching of the body.
  • Prescribed anti-itch cream to prevent the urge to scratch the affected area and lessen further irritations and worsen the condition.
  • Make a paste by mixing baking soda with few drops of water. Mix them until it becomes the consistency of a paste. Apply the paste directly on the affected area, let it dry and then wash it off using cool water. Repeat this process several times every day until the rashes totally disappears.
  • Fill a bath with warm water add 1 cup of grounded oatmeal. Mix them well until oatmeal is dissolved and then soak the body in the mixture for at least 20 minutes to lessen the itchiness and the rashes from the body.

FACT CHECK

https://www.medicinenet.com/poison_ivy_oak_and_sumac/article.htm

https://www.healthline.com/health/outdoor-health/poison-ivy-remedies

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/poison-ivy/symptoms-causes/syc-20376485

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  • All classesfirstaid.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.