Summer and early Fall are a great time for kids to spend time in nature. But parents need to be careful that no one picks up the sap oil urushiol from plants like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. The oil can cause an allergic reaction — in the form of a red, itchy, puffy, weepy, or blistering rash — and can easily be transferred from kid to kid easily, as well as via clothes, outdoor gear, and even pet fur, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Even after the initial exposure, the allergen can be persistent, and parents and children might find themselves desperate for relief. So to help soothe the aftereffects, we’ve rounded up nine remedies suggested by Circle of Moms members whose kids have previously come into contact with the poisonous plants.
You brought back some gorgeous photos from your two-hour hike and uh-oh — looks like you also brought back some poison ivy. When you accidentally brush up against this plant, the uroshiol oil rubs onto your skin and can instantly create redness, raised bumps, blisters, and an insatiable itch. First and foremost, get out of the clothes you were wearing on the hike and wash the oil off your skin using soap and cold water to prevent the rash from spreading. Don't use warm water, because it'll open your pores and make the itchy, bubbly rash worse.
Topical creams like Calamine lotion and hydrocortisone can keep the itchiness at bay, but when it comes to poison ivy, the quicker it heals, the better. Reach for this remedy — pure tea tree oil. It's all-natural, not that expensive, and easy to find at most health food stores. Thoroughly wash and dry the affected areas. Sprinkle a few drops of the tea tree oil directly on the rash, and use a Q-tip or cotton ball to spread it around. Apply a few times a day, and you should see the blisters disappearing and the rash clearing up.
Tea tree oil has antiseptic, antifungal, and drying properties, which is why it's so effective against the dreaded poison ivy. This natural remedy can also be used to treat acne, minor cuts and scrapes, athlete's foot, and yeast infections, so it's great to keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet.
After rinsing, not scrubbing, your skin with hot water to rinse off the oil do the following to relieve the itch. Draw a bath and add 1/2 cup of fresh baking soda (not the box that has been deodorizing your fridge) and soak for a 30 minutes. Once out of the bath, using a three to one ratio of baking soda to water, make a paste to apply to the affected area. Let the paste dry on your skin — it is believed that the baking soda pulls the caustic urushiol away from the skin, decreasing the itchiness.
If you experience a severe reaction after contact with one of these rash-producing plants, seek medical treatment. Prescription medication might be needed to reduce the swelling and itch.
So you went hiking last weekend and you accidentally tromped through a patch of poison ivy. You've got a nasty, blistery rash all over your feet and you want it to go away pronto. I've only tried a few of these home remedies, so I can't vouch for all of them, but anything's worth one try when you're itching like crazy.
- Jewelweed, a common weed found in damp areas, is often used to help treat the rash. Mash the weed and apply to your itchy skin.
- For 20 minutes, take a bath in salt water, or swim in a chlorinated pool to dry out the rash.
- Bathe in tomato juice.
- To relieve the itch, cut a mango in half and smear the juice over the rashy area for 10 minutes.
- Spray the rash with a deodorant containing aluminum.
- Apply tea tree oil to the affected area to help dry it out and clear up the rash faster.
Fit's Tip: Of course, if you have a really aggressive case, I'd talk to your doctor about what over-the-counter or prescription meds he would recommend.
If you have any other home remedies for poison ivy, please share them in the comment section below.
Hooray for hiking, trail running, and camping, but boo for poison ivy. During Summer, I love spending time in the woods, but hate coming down with a bad case of poison ivy. I usually stick to the dirt trails, but my dog unfortunately doesn't. If she comes into contact with some poison ivy and I come into contact with her (read: petting and wrestling), well you can bet that I'll be expecting a nasty rash to appear. I just discovered Buji Block lotion ($12.99), and it has been a real lifesaver. It creates an invisible barrier between your skin and the rash causing oils. Not only that, but it protects you from UV rays as well with an SPF rating of 24.
Unknowingly tromping through a patch of poison ivy can turn a pleasurable hike or run in the woods into a nightmare. If you touch the plant or something that has touched it (like your dog), then the oils can get on your skin and cause a nasty, itchy, blistery rash that lasts for up to three weeks.
If you know you've gotten into some poison ivy, you want to rinse with cold water within an hour of exposure. A hot shower is the worst idea because it will open your pores and let the oils in. If you wash the oils off immediately, hopefully you'll avoid a rash altogether. If you do develop the rash, don't pop the blisters. The liquid inside won't cause the rash to spread, but you could get an infection. Use a topical anti-itch cream to relieve your symptoms and speed up the healing process.
If you learned the rule, "Leaves of three, let it be," you can throw that out the window. While poison ivy does grow in clusters of three leaves, it can also grow up to nine leaves in a group. To hear what else you should you watch out for and see some photos of this treacherous plant read more
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If you are hiking this weekend you may want to read up on how tea tree oil defeats poison ivy rashes. It is a battle, don't ya know!
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According to a study published in Weed Science Journal the slight elevation in carbon dioxide levels that we have experienced since the 1950s have caused poison ivy plants to double in size. Not only that, but the itch causing substance "urushiol" is more concentrated these days too. Yikes! Talk about a one-two punch. With all that, it is not a surprise that severe poison ivy induced rashes are on the rise.
Careful when you are out on the trails and if you are not sure you can identify the plant read: Know Your Enemy: Poison Ivy.
'Tis the season for Hiking and trail running. There's a lot of beauty in these woods, but you got to be careful and avoid the poison ivy that lurks at the edges of the forest. Yes, it pays to know your enemy.
First off, it is the uroshiol oil on the plant that is the culprit and creates the horrible itchy, blistery skin reactions associated with poison ivy. While some people don't have a reaction to the oil, others may be hospitalized because their reaction is so severe. You should also know that even if you've been exposed to poison ivy and had no reaction, you are not necessarily immune to it. People can develop reactions at any time of their lives, so it is best to avoid poison ivy at all costs.
You will experience symptoms wherever the oil makes contact with your skin. First you will get a red, itchy spot on your skin, that develops into blisters. Once you wash your skin with soap and cold water, the rash won't spread. If you pop the blisters, the rash won't spread either, but the wounds could become infected so it is best not to pop them.
Many plants can look like poison ivy, so pay close attention whenever you're walking in moist areas. The rule "Leaves of 3, Let it be," doesn't always work. It can grow in groups of 3 leaves, with a larger middle leaf, but it can also grow up to 9 leaves in a group.
Want to know what to look out for, then read more