Poison ivy: the dreaded, terrifying plant we all try desperately to avoid. But sometimes — especially for the hikers and nature lovers among us — an encounter with poison ivy is inevitable.
If you’ve developed a poison ivy rash, you’ll begin to experience unpleasant side effects, such as itching and stinging. The good news is that the rash should go away on its own within a couple of weeks. In the meantime, however, there are several remedies that can bring some relief.
From oatmeal baths to the best spray for poison ivy, we’re sharing the tips to heal yourself. Keep reading to learn how you can use natural treatments to get relief from poison ivy rash.
Wash your body and clothes with lukewarm water
Jump into the shower or bath as quickly as you can after exposure to the poison ivy plant. Wash up (including your fingers and under your fingernails) with simple, fragrance-free soap.
It’s important to note that urushiol (the oily residue that causes the allergic reaction) can transfer to fabrics and other materials as well. Avoid touching the worn clothes with your bare hands and wash them without other items in the washing machine.
Use a special protective spray
Once you’ve cleansed the rash area, you need to take preventative steps to make sure the site doesn’t get infected. Avoid scratching the rash site, since this can lead to breaking the skin and potential infection.
At this point, it’s important to use a product (such as a spray) that helps relieve itching and minimizes the risk of infection. The best spray for poison ivy rash is one that is paraben-free and made without harsh chemicals. We like All Terrain Poison Ivy/Oak Spray.
Take an oatmeal bath
During the healing process, you can take baths to get some relief from the stinging. Add a cup of oatmeal into your bath or use oatmeal-based soaps and shower gels to help soothe your skin. Be sure to avoid any fragrant bath products, which can increase irritation.
Apply a cold compress
A simple but effective remedy, soak a washcloth or small towel in cold water and apply it to affected areas throughout the day. The cold pressure of the compress can also work to minimize inflammation.
Grab a box of baking soda
Use baking soda to whip up a quick paste that you can spread over the irritated areas. To make the paste, mix together three parts baking soda with one part water until it thickens. Apply to the rash site as needed for itch relief.
You can also use baking soda in your bath (instead of oatmeal). Just add a cup of baking soda to your bath water and let it dissolve, and then soak in it for 30 minutes.
Keep in mind that while there are many all-natural, homemade options for treating a poison ivy rash, it’s convenient to keep a poison ivy spray on hand. The best spray for poison ivy is All Terrain Poison Ivy/Oak Spray because it dries the oozing and weeping of wounds caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac and is made with natural ingredients.