Exposure to poison ivy isn’t anything to take lightly, as it causes a condition commonly known as contact dermatitis. Characterized by a rash and itching sensation, poison ivy dermatitis occurs as a result of contact with urushiol, an oil found in all parts of the poison ivy plant. Although some people are fortunate enough not to experience symptoms, 85 percent will experience a rash upon contact with poison ivy—yeah, it’s no joke!
Even though the poison ivy will clear up on its own, you still have to deal with the rash and the itchiness that comes along with it. Give yourself a bit of relief with these home remedies—many of which, you already have on-hand at your apartment home. Check out these suggestions below:
Rubbing alcohol can remove the urushiol oil from the skin and help minimize discomfort. You should do this as soon as you come into contact with the poison ivy –ideally within 10 minutes of exposure. If you plan to go camping or hiking, it’s important to bring a bottle of rubbing alcohol or some alcohol wipes with you every time. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised that urushiol can remain on the surface of most items that it comes into contact with, sometimes for years—unless treated with rubbing alcohol and water! Take precautions by the horns and equip yourself with this common household item to stay safe.
Soap and Water
It’s true—something as simple as soap and water can remove urushiol from the skin. However, you must thoroughly wash the skin, as well as underneath your fingernails, with unscented, anti-bacterial soap with zero frills. If you shower within a 60-minute timeframe of the exposure, you will help limit the spread and severity of the rash. It’s also wise to use rubbing alcohol on your skin before showering, and don’t forget—wash anything that comes to contact with the plant, whether it’d be your sleeping bag, smartphone, or otherwise. Just wear rubber gloves while doing this!
After using rubbing alcohol and/or bathing or showering, apply a cool, wet compress to help reduce itching and inflammation. To make a compress, simply run a clean washcloth under cold water. Wring off the excess water and pop into the freezer for a few minutes on a paper towel to keep it clean. Finally, apply the homemade compress to the area of irritation for at least 15-20 minutes. For an extra boost, soak the compress in an astringent liquid, such as apple cider vinegar or chilled black tea. Repeat this several times a day if needed.
The team at Augusta Commons Apartments in Marietta, Georgia finds it important that our residents lead healthy, well-informed lives. By presenting new ideas in our resident blog, we make it easy to stay up-to-date with the latest information on health, wellness, finances, and more.