How do I treat a poison ivy rash?
Most people learn at a young age about staying away from plants with three leaves because they might be poisonous. Even with knowledge and prevention hand in hand, poison ivy rashes are still common. With poison ivy continuing to affect hundreds of thousands of people a year, it is still a present threat, especially during the summer when the plant is in full bloom and more people are spending time outdoors. While the best bet to avoiding an outbreak of poison ivy rash is to avoid the plant at all costs, knowing how to treat it will come in handy. When it comes to poison ivy rash treatments, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The most important aspect of successful poison ivy rash treatments is being able to recognize it as soon as possible. Poison ivy rashes often begin as thin red lines caused by the leaves or red spots from the oil. This redness will spread and cause small red bumps, itching, irritation, and eventually painful blisters with white fluid inside. When it comes to poison ivy rash treatments, the first step once you have identified it as poison ivy-related is to thoroughly cleanse that area to remove oils. Do not use warm or hot water as it may cause oils to become more active or spread to other areas. If you treat the rash without properly cleaning the oils away, you are at risk for a multitude of complications, such as the rash spreading to other areas, more severe symptoms, and longer healing time.
When it comes to poison ivy rash treatments, aside from frequent showering or soaking baths, the recommended plan of action is applying an over-the-counter topical cream containing calamine. Calamine is a naturally soothing element which can calm the skin and lessen the irritation caused by poison ivy rash. Other recommendations are to take an antihistamine, such as Benadryl, to help with the reaction to the rash. It will also allow for better sleep. Another tried, and true remedy is to soak in warm baths with oatmeal which will help calm the skin while relieving the constant itching.