Prepare for the changing seasons early! Before you know it, spring will be back. Stay prepared with these 12 home remedies for poison ivy, oak and Sumac. Winter is definitely in full swing…there’s no denying that! My neck of the woods, the Lone Star state, is experiencing an extremely cold week. Heavy jackets, scarves, gloves, and winter hats are officially part of the Texan wardrobe – at least for now.
With old man winter comes barren landscapes, for the most part. Before you know it though, spring and summer will be upon us and once again all plant life will be plush and green once more.
But…did you know that some plants are actually very much alive and look much different in the winter months? The plants I am referring to are poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Some people are highly allergic to these plants while others are not allergic in the least. Some do not recognize these plants in the winter months, therefore, walk among them only to break out in the terrible rashes that these poisonous plants leave behind.
If you are among those who may not know what these three plants look like in the winter months, check out my previous article, Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac: Be Aware All Year Round, for a complete photo gallery of what they look like all year round.
I know of a few people who have experienced severe rashes this winter due to these poisonous plants. Some were in total shock that it was even a possibility in January. If you have had an unfortunate run-in with any of these three plants this winter, not to worry. I have compiled a list of great home remedies for poison ivy, oak and sumac that have produced great results!
12 Home Remedies For Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
If you suspect contact with any of these three plants wash the area with warm water and mild soap before the oils from the plant have had a chance to be absorbed into your skin.
If a rash has already begun to develop, try any of these home remedies to help ease the itching, inflammation, and pain. In my research, I have found that the following remedies have had the most successful results
* Disclaimer: These suggestions are not medically proven. If the rash continues (or gets worse), please seek medical advice or treatment from a medical professional.
Aloe Vera Gel
This wonderful plant is great for treating sunburns and other types of burns! It is also great for treating the rash caused by these poisonous plants.
Just split open the leaves and place the gel directly on the affected area. Aloe vera gel will relieve the pain and itching. If you don’t have an aloe vera plant, you can buy the bottled aloe vera gel at your local market and it will be just as effective.
Add ½ cup of baking soda in warm bathwater and soak. You can also make a paste with warm water and apply directly to the rash caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
Make a paste of cooked oatmeal and apply it to the rash. This home remedy has great results because it helps draw out the toxins therefore relieving the pain and itching these rashes cause.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apply a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the affected area. ACV has the ability to pull the poison from the rash. You can also treat the affected area with a cotton towel soaked with warm ACV. Reapply to the skin as needed until the rash subsides.
Himalayan Crystal Salt
This home remedy is especially effective for a rash caused by poison ivy. Poison ivy can cause the skin to become wet and inflamed. Himalayan crystal salt dries out the skin therefore drying out a poison ivy rash.
Make a paste out of purified water and himalayan crystal salt and place it directly onto the rash. You can also soak in a bath of warm water and a cup of himalayan crystal salt for a ½ hour.
This method is pretty simple. Just rub the inside of a banana peel on the affected area to help relieve itching and inflammation.
Blend a raw potato in the blender or food processor. Apply the potato paste to the skin and cover area with plastic wrap to relieve itching. The starch from the potato also helps dry out the skin which promotes a quicker healing process.
Apply dawn soap directly to the affected area. Leave on for a couple of minutes then wash off with cold water. The grease fighting action of dawn soap will aid in drying out the oils within the blisters of a poison ivy rash.
Make a paste out of turmeric and lemon juice or rubbing alcohol. (All three of these ingredients aid in the drying out process of a blistering rash caused by poison ivy.) Apply this paste to the affected area for about 15 minutes and wipe off. The color of the turmeric can yellow your skin but not to worry – it’s not permanent.
Cut a cucumber into slices or make a cucumber paste (you can accomplish the cucumber paste by using a blender or food processor). Apply the slices or paste directly to the affected area. Leave on for at least 15 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
As with the himalayan crystal salt remedy, epsom salts dry out the blisters of a poison ivy rash. Add 2 cups to a warm bath and soak for 20 mins. You can also soak a paper towel with warm epsom salt and apply directly to the affected for 20 minutes.
I would personally suggest green tea or chamomile tea bags for this remedy. Seep tea bags for 2-3 minutes then once cooled completely, apply to the affected area for about 15 minutes.