Tuesday, November 12

if there are three, let it be: poison ivy home remedies

As you may have heard, we had a serious battle with poison ivy in our house. Apparently, our backyard has a fair amount of the pesky plant near our fence line-- just one of the perks living right next to a wooded area. A little hint, if there are three, let it be! So last week, being the wonderful husband he is, j took to destroying the plants in the back yard. Even though he was being careful, he ended up getting some of the oils on his skin and broke out in rashes. In the past couple weeks, I have learned a significant amount about poison ivy plants and home remedies, so here are some the best options we found.

Poison Ivy 101
  • a rash is contracted from the oil on the plant, not the actual leaf itself
  • if you get oil on your skin, wash it off immediately (even if you're outside-- find a water source) and use soap, preferably a dish soap, to remove the oils from the skin
  • dogs can carry the poison ivy oils on their coats. if they rub up against a plant, you can get the oils on your skin. So if you're in an area with your animals, be sure to either give them a bath or wash their coat to remove the oils
  • animals aren't affected by the oil, but humans are!
  • poison ivy rash is not contagious; it can only be passed through the oils from the plant
  • a rash can appear up to a week after skin being exposed to the oils

Poison Ivy Home Remedies 
  • rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar remove the oils from the skin and help dry up the rash
  • oatmeal baths really do help with the itching. Put the oatmeal in an old stocking or nylon and let it soak in the tub to allow the oatmeal residue to infuse into the hot water
  • use a baking soda paste to help relieve itching. just add some baking soda to water to create a paste and put it on the rash
  • soak a cloth in cold water and place it on the rash, it will help relieve itching and any swelling
And of course, benadryl and hydrocortisone cream are extremely helpful to relieve itching. If your rash continues to get worse after a week or if you ever develop a fever, call your doctor. Often a prescription or steroid shot will help clear it up.

Unfortunately, after a week of using home remedies, j's rashes weren't getting any better so he ended up at the doctors office. Apparently, he is highly sensitive and next time we'll be going to the doctor first. But these are great remedies to help relieve a mild case of poison ivy.

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