Poison Ivy, with the scientific name as “toxicodendron radicans” is a poisonous plant that is predominantly found in North America and Asia. This plant is well know to cause immense itching and rashes upon contact. This itching and rash is also called “poison ivy” surprisingly. This rash is attributed to a resin found in this plant called “urushiol”. This resin is found in the leaves, stems and roots of this plant.
If at all a person comes in contact with this plant due to ignorance on his part, it’s highly recommended to rinse off the area of contact as soon as possible with ample quantities of water. This will drastically reduce the chances of acquiring the rash because once developed, the rash doesn’t go away for a few weeks and can make life very uncomfortable.
Mild cases of poison ivy can easily be treated at home using soothing lotions and cool baths. Doctors can precribe medications if the rashes are too severe especially if and around the genital area.
Signs and symptoms of poison ivy are as follows:
1) Redness of skin of the arae affected.
2) Extreme recurrent itching which does not subside easily.
3) Swelling and inflammation in the affected area.
4) Cropping up of blisters on the skin.
5) Respiratory problems ( if inhaled burning smoke of poison ivy plant )
Often the rash looks like a straight line because of the way the plant brushes against your skin. But if you come into contact with a piece of clothing or pet fur that has urushiol on it, the rash may be more spread out. You can also transfer the resin to other parts of your body with your fingers. The reaction usually develops 12 to 48 hours after exposure and lasts two to three weeks.
The rash is severe or mild depending on the amount of “uruhiol” that the skin absorbs. Areas which absorb more urushiol may develop rash faster than portions which have absorbed less. Direct contact is needed to spread the resin.
The main cause of poison ivy is an oily resin known as “urushiol”. This oil is found in the leaves, stems and roots of poison ivy . This resin is very sticky, so it easily attaches to your skin, clothing, tools, equipment and pet’s fur.
Poison ivy resin can spread through the following methods:
1) Direct Touch
If the person comes into contact with the leaves, stems or roots of the poison ivy plant, he/she will definitely get the rashes since theses areas contain the oily resin.
2) Direct Contact With Contaminated Objects
If a person whose skin has been affected by the rash touches an object, there are high chances that he/she has transferred urushiol onto that object. This means if the object is not properly cleaned it can spread the rash to some other person who touches it directly.
3) Inhaling Smoke From The Burning Plant
Even the smoke from burning poison ivy contains urushiol and can irritate or harm your nasal passages or lungs.
Home Remedies For Poison Ivy
Found in most kitchens, common baking soda is a great natural remedy for the itchiness associated with a poison ivy rash. To help relieve itching, place 1/2 a cup of baking soda in a bath tub filled with warm water. You can also mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water and mix until it forms a paste. Apply this paste to the infected area to relieve itching and irritation that’s associated with a poison ivy rash.
Oatmeal paste or bath is one of the best remedies for poison ivy rashes since it dries them up and as well as gives relief from itching. Cook a small amount of oatmeal and apply directly to the affected skin. Sometimes its said to apply it when it’s still warm. As the oatmeal cools, it will leave the skin dry and relieved
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has toxin-pulling capabilities that helps suck the poison out of the pores. It’s generally recommended to use a warm vinegar compress using a thin cotton towel and apply directly to the skin. Reapply to the skin as needed.
Aloe vera is one of the best ways to get rid of poison ivy as it is really soothing to treat skin allergies. Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the blisters. Aloe vera is a natural healer due to its excellent anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and therefore, good for treating poison ivy on face.
Himalayan Crystal Salt
Salt is an excellent remedy for rashes since it causes the skin to dry-up. This dtying up of skin leads to removal of excess water and poisons from the body. make a paste using water and Himalyan salt. A warm salt bath is generally recommended since its soothing and refreshing.
Bana apart from being a staple fruit also has many medicinal properties and helps fight off various diseases. Take a banana peel and gently rub it on the affected skin. Repeat as many times as needed. It will give comfort from the itching.
This green veggie is very cooling. Making a cucumber paste and applying it to the skin helps bring soothing relief to heated itching. For easy itch relief, slice a piece of a cucumber off and let it dry on the affected area.
Potato, part from being a tasty ingredient for many recipes also has anti-inflammatory properties and therefore, it is one of the most effective home remedies to heal poison ivy. Blend a potato to form its paste. Then, apply it over the area, affected with poison ivy rashes.
Lemon juice is useful for removing the toxins, present in any type of skin infection. Soak a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply it on the rashes. Lemon is a natural astringent, and greatly helps in healing the poison ivy blisters.
Make a paste of turmeric root powder with some rubbing alcohol or lemon juice. Apply this paste on the affected area. Turmeric has great anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and will quickly give relief from the itching and burning sensation, caused due to the poison ivy.