Summer can be wonderful with its warmth, the fragrance of fresh-cut grass, barbecues and holidays, but it can also come with its share of trouble -- like poison ivy. Touching one of those leaves can come with serious effects -- terrible rashes. If you're allergic, poison ivy can cause blisters that ooze.
Why do people even get poison ivy rashes?
If you're the outdoorsy kind who likes to go on long nature walks, sooner or later you're going to come across the ivy. The thick sap of this plant is contained in its delicate leaves. A mere touch is enough to damage the leaves and expose the sap. Rich in a chemical called urushiol, it quickly causes the skin to break out. Pets and children are often at greater risk than adults, who know enough to stay away. Seventy percent of all people are allergic to poison ivy in varying degrees. They need to learn what the plant looks like and stay away.
What should you do if you come into contact with poison ivy?
When you touch poison ivy, you don't break out the very next second. Instead, you have about fifteen minutes. In the time that you have, you can wash the area with plenty of soap and water. If you have no soap, you can also use anything with alcohol. Alcohol wipes are good, as are alcoholic beverages. Alcohol dissolves the urushiol. If you aren't able to wash it off and do begin breaking out, there are natural remedies you can try.
If you have turmeric powder lying around in your pantry, you should know that it's a strong anti-inflammatory that can help calm down almost any kind of itchiness. All you need to do is to make a poultice with turmeric and lemon juice and rub it on the affected area. As long as you don't mind the yellow staining of turmeric, it should work well, making you feel better.
Pick up some apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is great for a number of home remedies; poison ivy treatment is one of them. What you need to do is to apply it undiluted to the affected area and wait for it to go to work making your itchiness feel better.
Oatmeal can be very effective
Oatmeal is one of the most effective remedies against poison ivy. It is able to draw urushiol out of the skin, making it unable to work. All you need to do is to cook some oatmeal, and then apply it to the itchy area. As it pulls the urushiol out of your skin, it effectively neutralizes it.
A number of other home remedies can work
Epsom salts, the juice of green tomatoes, baking soda and banana peel all work well soothing the itchiness of a poison ivy attack. A lot depends on what you have on hand. If you can't run to the pharmacy to find ready-made poison ivy soap or other poison ivy product, you can try out any one of these remedies. You should find that you quiet down the itching very quickly and find the relief that you seek.