Is there a good home remedy for poison ivy?

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I was working outside last week, and evidently found a hidden patch of poison ivy. Do you know of any home remedies to help me?

As much as I love living out there in the Sticks, poison ivy is one of the banes of my existence. It always seems that just when I think I have eradicated that pernicious plant, it pops up again in a different place. And I usually don%u2019t notice that is has reappeared until the dreadful, itchy rash begins. It used to be almost a rite of early summer here to have each one of my kids break out in a rash by June. (Y%u2019all might want to ask Mama about a time when she had poison ivy in a place which made it difficult for her to sit down for about a week. Doubt she%u2019d tell you the story, but I always enjoy watching her blush when folks ask it.) Most of the tricks that work for any skin rash will work for poison ivy as well. Try a milk compress using cool, whole milk. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, then rinse with cool water and cover your rash, if possible, with clean dry gauze. If you have an aloe vera plant, squeeze some aloe gel on the rash several times per day. If your poison ivy rash has those awful weeping blisters, apply a paste of baking soda and water to the area; that%u2019ll help dry up the blisters. (If you don%u2019t have blisters, though, the baking soda won%u2019t do much for you.) Lastly, if your rash is widespread, take a soothing oatmeal bath. Put about a cup of Quaker Oats (or any brand) in your food processor, and pulse %u2018til they%u2019re fairly fine. Put the resulting oatmeal powder into a tepid to slightly warm bath, and soak for about 20 minutes. (If you don%u2019t want the mess in your tub, you can also put the oats into cheesecloth, and tie the top. You get the benefits of the oatmeal without the mess!) But really, no matter what you do, it%u2019s still going to take about a week for that rash to heal. I know it%u2019s hindsight, but wouldn%u2019t you have been better off to use a little prevention? Now, if you KNOW that you%u2019re going to be around poison ivy, use some common sense so you don%u2019t have to write to me about an itching rash. Wear long sleeves and long pants. If you%u2019re pulling out the ivy, make sure that you get the root; otherwise it will just grow back, and you%u2019ll have to do this all over again. Dispose of the plant by putting it onto a brush pile: NEVER EVER EVER burn poison ivy!! The sap will get into the smoke from a fire, and it can wreak havoc on your lungs if you inhale it. Once you%u2019re through outside, disrobe and put your clothing into the wash immediately. (But don%u2019t disrobe outside. The neighbors might not appreciate it.) Then hightail it directly into the shower, and scrub down with soap. (Just like for chigger prevention, Granny thinks that dishwashing detergent has the highest likelihood of removing all that sap from your skin. Can%u2019t prove it, but it has always worked for me.) There are also quite a few products on the market that you can apply before you are exposed to poison ivy. I can%u2019t recommend any of them, because I%u2019ve never used them, but I have a neighbor who swears by their use. I hope this helped. Next time, stay out of the ivy! And come on back any time; Granny%u2019s always glad to see you. Love, Granny

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The answer to "Is there a good home remedy for poison ivy?"

Question asked on August 1, 2008at 9:05 pm:: Comments (0)
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