If you’ve ever had poison ivy you know you’ll try about anything to relieve the itch. There is some indication that oatmeal baths can be helpful if you’re in this unpleasant situation. The poison ivy plant contains a chemical called urushiol. When urushiol soaks into the skin it causes a condition that doctors describe as allergic contact dermatitis, which leads to inflammation and the intense desire to scratch the irritated skin. Oatmeal has its own chemical makeup which can relieve the itch. Avenathramides and phenols found in oats have the ability to reduce inflammation, helping you endure poison ivy’s side effects. Just don’t soak in hot water – the heat can pull moisture from your skin, exacerbating the problem. Tepid water is best.