Poison ivy plants usually grow in moist and shady places. Although it can grow anywhere, the majority of these plants grow in Arizona, South Florida, Nebraska, and Northern Canada. Now it may be new to know but the sap of poison ivy is called urushiol and can cause an allergic reaction. Note that not everybody will have an allergic reaction to poison ivy’s active agent. It is possible that someone who has never had this problem before will suddenly have the allergic reaction. With this information, it is very important to always be ready and learn how to a treat poison ivy rash.
The times that poison ivy is very active depends on the time of year and its maturity. Nevertheless, a person’s susceptibility is one major factor to consider as well. The allergic reaction is always presented as rashes. Itching, burning, and cracking of the skin can also be seen. It can be as mild as a simple rash, and it can also be worse as having permanent scars on your skin.
The best way to prevent having a poison ivy rash is to know what the plant looks like. If you ever detect them, try to maintain a good distance from them. Also, the safest precaution is to use long-sleeved clothes when you go to places that may have poison ivy. However, if you feel that you have the rash already, here are some of the best ways to treat a poison ivy rash:
The first thing to do is to make sure that you remove any residue of the poison ivy sap from your skin. Wash the area with warm water. This way, you can also soothe the itchiness too. You can apply specialized soaps or oils that can remove the sap residue from your skin. There are also cleansing wipes that are available to use right away.
The worse part of having a poison ivy rash is that you will definitely feel very itchy on that affected part. To add insult to injury, you can’t scratch them. It will further irritate the rashes and can cause an infection afterwards. You can use any calamine lotion like Caladryl to relive or even just reduce the itch. Just spread a substantial amount on the affected part. You can do this as often as you can per instructions of the product. This is also a way to help the blisters heal faster and dry up easily.
You can also take antihistamines to reduce the itchiness and the swelling as well. Benadryl will be great, but take note that it can make you drowsy. If you don’t want that, you can take Claritin instead.
Since the goal is to soothe your irritated skin, you can actually apply some homemade soothing mixtures. You just mix a cup of oatmeal, whole milk, honey, and some aloe. After that, you can apply the mixture directly to the affected site or pour it into you bath water and stay there for about 15 to 20 minutes. All of these ingredients have soothing effects that can help reduce itchiness.
After you have taken a bath, you can use 1% hydrocortisone ointment and apply it to the area where it is very itchy.
Also, after exposure to a poison ivy plant, make sure that you wash your clothes right away as the residue of the sap can stay there for at least a month.
Knowing how to treat a poison ivy rash is very important especially when you are in a place where this kind of plant is very evident. It is always safe to know these things for emergency purposes. Also, try and have the first-aid medications in your home so that when things like this happen, you will be more than ready.