Poison Ivy Treatment

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Unfortunately there isn't a poison ivy treatment that will quickly get rid of your poison ivy rash and itchiness. However there are creams and sprays that you can use to stop the itching and help dry the rash. Before we get into any poison ivy treatments, I will like to mention that poison ivy can be stopped in its tracks before it causes a rash and itchiness. That's right, if you know you've come into contact with poison ivy, constantly wash the affected area with dish washing soap and cold water. Make sure this is done within 15 minutes of touching poison ivy. You may even clean the area with alcohol. Remember, if poison ivy has touched your skin, then it most likely touched your clothes. Wash your clothing in hot water immediately. The urushiol oils found on poison ivy leaves can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years on clothing, if not washed. Knowing the different types of poison ivy is the key to this method. It is also important to mention that certain people are more allergic to poison ivy than others. If you are having an extreme case, it is recommended to see a doctor. The doctor may give you a shot, or prescribe medication that will reduce swelling and help with the itching.

What are some poison ivy treatments?

If you've touched poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, it's possible you can completely avoid getting any sort of rash. The rash can be avoided if you wash the affected area with soap and water within 15 minutes of touching the plant. Additionally you can apply Zanfel. Zanfel removes urushiol by binding with it, which can then later be washed off with water. This topical solution can be applied after exposure to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac and  can safely be used on any part of the external body. You must first be aware of what the different poison ivy leaves look like.

To relieve the itching and help dry the rash you can use calamine spray or lotion. Be warned, calamine leaves a dry pink color on your skin after spraying or lotion use. The initial contact of calamine on skin is a soothing cool feeling. After a few seconds, it dries up. Calamine will help stop the itching and help dry the rashes quicker. This seems to be the recommended method for poison ivy symptoms. You can wash the calamine off with cool water and mild soap and then reapply the calamine up to 3 times a day.

Taking a bath with epsom salt also helps with drying the poison ivy rashes. See the home remedies section for more ideas.

When to see a doctor for poison ivy treatment?

If you are experiencing a severe case of a poison ivy rash with blisters, it is recommended that you see a doctor. A doctor might prescribe a corticosteroid which includes steroid hormones and can help speed up your recovery. If a doctor prescribes Methylprednisolone, you should know that it weakens your immune system and can cause you to get sick. Most people try to avoid taking this prescription and only stick to the prescribed creams. A doctor might also prescribe Diprolene AF which is an anti-itch cream and it also reduces swelling. Do not use Diprolene AF on your face, groin, or underarms.

The best treatment is truly time. Your body just needs the time to fight off the rash. The recommended treatments above may help with speeding up your recovery, but at the end of the day, it will take time for full recovery. You should try not to itch the rashes. Poison ivy can't spread to other parts of the body and it is not contagious. The reason why you should not itch the rashes is because it can cause scarring.  You may also notice that the poison ivy rashes become more itchier at night. Our bodies have our own anti-itch chemical that works throughout the day. When night time comes and were ready to go to sleep, our body temperature increases and this chemical decreases. If you find yourself itchier at night, try not to itch the rash and apply more calamine.

What should not be used on Poison Ivy rashes?

There are a few things you should avoid. You should not apply medications that contain Neomycin, Benzocaine, and Dyphenhydramine because they can cause allergy problems of their own.

Next: What are some Poison Ivy remedies?