When engaging in outdoor activities -- camping, fishing or hiking -- this summer, there’s a chance that you may come into contact with poison ivy.
As anyone who has encountered the plant knows, contact with poison ivy can result in an itchy, oozing rash. This rash is caused, according to Discovery Fit & Health, when skin is penetrated by a toxic oil called urushiol that is released by the plant.
For those with a high sensitivity to poison ivy, medical attention is required as soon as possible. This only applies to a small percentage of the population, however.
For those with a more typical reaction to poison ivy, the rash will heal on its own in about 10 days’ time, with no medical attention needed. However, one may still want to treat the rash with any of the following three home remedies to help curb excessive itching:
- Cool it down. To ease the itching and irritation, cool the skin with a daily bath or gentle shower in cool water. In between daily bathing, place cool (not cold) compresses on the rashes for up to 30 minutes. Repeat as needed throughout the day.
- Soothe. Apply calamine lotion -- a soothing, anti-itch cream -- to the affected area. Smooth the lotion liberally over the rash. Avoid rubbing in the cream as you would with a regular lotion; instead, let the layer of calamine lotion air dry on its own.
- Treat from the inside out. Take an antihistamine -- an allergy medicine -- to help relieve your symptoms.
There are also over-the-counter remedies for poison ivy and poison oak like the 8-hour relief from TecnuExtreme Medicated Poisin Ivy Scrub. The key is to treat the symptoms and itching so that you don't irritate your skin or spread the contaminated area and let your body work its' magic.
When using these remedies to treat poison ivy, you’ll be back to your old self -- and back into the outdoors -- in no time.
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