Treatment and prevent of poison Ivy

Symptoms and Treatment

poison ivy rash

The good news is: the rash and itching will go away without any treatment. The bad news is: it will probably take a couple of weeks for it to go away. Treatment of poison ivy, oak, and sumac are all about comfort. You want to relieve the itching and inflammation.

  • Call 911 if you have any trouble breathing. This is especially true if you inhale smoke from burning poison ivy.
  • Call the doctor if the rash is on or around your eyes, covers a large part of your body, or seems to be infected (fever, swelling or oozing).

Here are tips to relieve the itching and rash. Some of these work better than others, so it’s really a personal choice, and maybe a little trial and error:

  • Cold compresses on the rash for 15-20 minutes, several times per day. Don’t put ice directly on the skin or leave cold packs on for too long: you can get frostbite from a cold pack if you’re not careful.
  • Use calamine lotion, topical antihistamine or hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching.
  • Taking oral antihistamines such as Benedryl (diphenhydramine) should help reduce itching.

Here are some home remedies and alternative medicine treatments that might help with the itching:

  • Baking soda and colloidal oatmeal are protectants that relieve minor skin irritation and itching.
  • Aloe vera applied directly to the rash. If you have a plant, cut it open and rub the slippery part right on the skin. You can also try topical products with aloe included.
  • Take a cool bath.

Prevention is the best treatment for poison ivy. Knowledge is power. The way to prevent poison ivy, oak or sumac is to know what you’re looking for and how to avoid it.

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