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Treatments for Poison Ivy

Dealing with poison ivy can be a frustrating experience. When your body’s histamine levels are raised, the itchiness takes over and becomes unbearable. Overcoming this situation usually requires some trial and error, since each one of us will react to the treatments for poison ivy in a different way. Today we’re going to focus on how doctors can help, as well as the types of home remedies you can try. While none of them should be considered a guarantee, each one of them is definitely worth trying. Well, almost all of them…

The Doctor’s Advice

If this is your first time with poison ivy, it probably best to head to the doctor. It will allow you to see whether or not you are highly sensitive to the urushiol oil found in poison ivy plants, trees, vines, and roots. If it’s a typical case, the doctor might suggest using a cold compression and applying it to the itchy area. This approach seems to soothe the location, but it is only temporary.

Another common approach is using Calamine lotion. It’s something doctors have suggested for years, but the results vary from one person to another. Again; this will only provide temporary relief. It’s also easy for the lotion to rub off on clothes or not provide as many benefits in certain conditions. However, it is still something most doctors will recommend.

There could also be a few tests run. Some individuals are more sensitive to poison ivy than others. In extreme cases, it’s possible your family physician will recommend getting allergy shots. You can still end up with poison ivy, but the condition could be a little more controlled. Since poison ivy isn’t something most of us are around on a daily basis, it’s really rare for someone to choose allergy shots. Regardless, it’s still a beneficial option.

What you can do to treat Poison Ivy

We understand there are some people who aren’t ready to see a doctor. Whether you have a fear of doctors, don’t have insurance, or can’t afford the trip, there are home remedies available. Unfortunately these also require a lot of trial and error. Since poison ivy can last as long as 2 or 3 weeks, you’re going to have plenty of time to figure out what works best for you. Here are some options and a few other ideas that should be considered a necessity:

┬áTaking Showers – If you look around the Internet, you will see other people discussing showers. If you’ve just come into contact with a poison ivy plant, the best thing to do is drop everything and go take a shower. Just make sure it’s a cold one. Some individuals don’t think about it and take a hot shower. Unfortunately this keeps the pores open and allows the urushiol oil to seep into them. This is what creates your itchy rash.

Cold showers will close the pores and allow the oil to wash away. It might be a little inconvenient to be cold for 5 to 10 minutes, but the long term benefits make it well worth it.

Using Vinegar and Baking Soda – Trying either one of these ingredients separately isn’t going to work. While the vinegar can help soothe your itchy feeling for a few moments, it’s only short term relief. When mixed with baking soda you end up with a body cleanser. This should be applied to the affected area. It works like a scrub, so don’t be afraid to open those blisters when taking a shower. If you use this approach, the infected area will heal faster. Granted, you will still itch when you’re out of the shower, but a little dab of vinegar after you dry off can help.

Consider a Hair Dryer – When the itching becomes extremely unbearable, one small trick can provide relief. All you need is a hair dryer, turn it on high heat, and heat up the area where poison ivy is present. Only keep it there until it’s too much, and then pull it away. In the beginning, you’re going to feel the area itch even more, but this only lasts for a second. Once the sensation is over, your itch will be gone for 2 to 5 hours.

Dry it out – One home remedy that helps is jumping in a pool that is balanced with chlorine. Keep in mind; we wouldn’t recommend a Jacuzzi since the hot water can make the rash even more irritated. Stick with luke warm to cold water. The chlorine will dry out your rash and allow the healing to take place.

Salt Water Bath – If you don’t live near a pool, consider taking a salt water bath at home. You should soak for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time, and at least twice a day. The best salt to use is coarse salt. Consider using as much as a 2kg bag.

Vitamin C – Another home remedy is making sure you take a large dose of Vitamin C throughout the day. This can help you kill the bacteria and dry out your system. Granted, you don’t want to kill all your body’s bacteria, so this should be followed up with a little yogurt.

Disinfect Everything You Touch – Think back to when you first came into contact with poison ivy. If this was away from home, chances are you touched the steering wheel, keys, door handle to house and car, as well as several other areas. These all need to be cleaned off or else someone else could end up with poison ivy.

Urushiol can sit on items like these for a year, and be just as potent. Disinfecting everything with alcohol will reduce the risk of developing poison ivy again.

When it comes to treating poison ivy, there are several possibilities. When you mix in some of the preventative measures we’ve provided today, you will at least be able to control the amount of poison ivy you develop. Things like disinfecting areas you’ve touched, showering in cold water, and washing the clothes you wore can all have a major impact on how much poison ivy you have to deal with in the future.