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17 Home Remedies for Poison Ivy

More Home Remedy Treatments for Poison Ivy
©2007 Publications International, Ltd. Cold coffee is a home remedy that can help ease the discomfort of poison ivy.

So, you did your best to avoid the itch, but it still got you? Never fear -- here are some simple home remedies to treat the rash if it does occur. Many include common items you can find in your kitchen. (While these remedies often refer to poison ivy, the steps are generally appropriate for poison oak and poison sumac as well.)

Home Remedies from the Kitchen

for Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

Cool off. If the itch has already begun, a cool bath or shower may help ease the itch. Placing ice-cold compresses on the rash for a few minutes every hour may also provide relief.

Baking soda. Concoct a paste of baking soda and water, and spread it on the affected area. Freshen the application every two hours for a total of 3 applications each day. Before going to bed, pour a cup of baking soda into a lukewarm bath and take a soak.

Coffee. If you have any leftover (cold) coffee in your cup, pouring it on a poison ivy rash may be a good way to get rid of the coffee and the rash. Appalachian folk medicine followers believe in washing the affected area with a cup of cold black coffee. Coffee beans contain chlorogenic acid, an anti-inflammatory. This coffee cure hasn't been proved, as there haven't been any studies done on it.

Vinegar. Be it from plant, insect, or allergic reaction, itches of all sorts are tamed by a simple vinegar rinse. First, wash the affected area with soap and lukewarm water, then rinse. Apply vinegar with a cotton ball, rub gently, and rinse.

Soap and water. Waste no time in getting the poisonous plant victim in contact with water -- urushiol is water soluble so use lots and lots of water when you rinse. Rinse before using soap; this will reduce the risk of spreading the oil. And hurry! You have only 10 minutes or so before the oil will start to penetrate your skin. Air-dry the skin. Any towels used for cleaning should be washed immediately in hot water and detergent -- the oil can linger on towels to "get you" again.

Aloe vera. According to the folk medicine taught by Seventh Day Adventists, aloe vera sap helps treat poison ivy rash through its anti-inflammatory constituents. Break off a leaf and apply the sap to the affected area. Allow to dry and gently wash off. Reapply every two hours.

Soak in oats. Bathing in lukewarm water mixed with oatmeal or baking soda may help dry oozing blisters and soothe irritated skin.

Looking for more relief? Even more common home remedies, along with information about which poison ivy myths are true and which are false, can be found in the next section.

For more information about allergies and skin ailments and how to treat them, try the following links:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider. The brand name products mentioned in this publication are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the respective proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or, nor does it constitute an endorsement by any of these companies that their products should be used in the manner described in this publication