What do you after you know you have come in contact with Poison Ivy!
Remove and wash your clothes. Strip off your clothes and place them in a plastic garbage bag, if possible. Wash your clothes separately from anything else as soon as possible.
Apply rubbing alcohol. You can apply rubbing alcohol to your skin to dissolve the poison ivy or poison oak oils. Because the toxic oil from the plant seeps into your skin gradually, adding rubbing alcohol to the area will prevent the further spread. It won’t provide immediate relief, but it will stem the spread. You can also use an over-the-counter cleanser like Tecnu or Zanfel.
Rinse the area with cool water. Never use warm or hot water, as this will open your pores and allow more of the toxins to sink in. If you’re able, keep the affected area under cold running water for 10-15 minutes. If you’re outdoors in the woods when you’re exposed to poison ivy or poison oak, then you can rinse your body off in a running stream.
Completely clean the area. Regardless of the location on your body, make sure that it was thoroughly rinsed with water. If you touched the area on your body at all or the poison affected your hands, scrub under your fingernails with a toothbrush in case any oil from the plants was deposited beneath them. Throw the toothbrush away after you’re done.
Don’t scratch the rash. Even though the rash is not contagious, you could break the skin and allow bacteria to enter the wound. Don’t touch or pop any blisters that may form, even if they are weeping. If necessary, cut your nails short and cover the area to keep yourself from scratching it.
- Use a dish soap that is used for oil removal to rinse the area of your rash. Because the toxins have been transferred to your skin in the form of an oil, using an oil-obliterating dish soap may help to reduce the spread of the rash.
- If you use a towel to dry yourself after washing the affected area, be sure to wash the towel with the rest of your exposed clothes immediately after use.
Other suggestions on How to Stop Poison Icy from Itching
- Although the rash does not spread through blister fluid, try not to scratch blisters. Scratching may cause a bacterial infection.
- Apply wet compresses or soak the area in cool water for 15 to 30 minutes several times a day. Do this for 1 to 4 days until the itching and blistering improve. Compresses or soaking water may include:
- Vinegar mixed with water.
- Burow’s solution (aluminum acetate). Apply as a compress during the blistering stage. Be sure to stop using this solution if any irritation occurs.
- Take short, cool baths with or without an oatmeal additive (such as Aveeno).
- Wear cotton or silk clothing. Avoid wearing wool and acrylic fabrics next to yourskin.
- Use as little soap as possible. Use gentle soaps, such as Basis, Cetaphil, Dove, or Oil of Olay. Avoid deodorant soaps when you have the rash.
- Avoid dry skin, which makes the itching caused by the rash worse. Apply a moisturizer or calamine lotion to the skin while it is damp. Watch closely for excessive drying, which may occur when calamine lotion is used for an extended period. For more information, see the topic Dry Skin and Itching.
Over-the-counter antihistamine pills or tablets such as Benadryl(diphenhydramine) and prescription antihistamine pills such as Vistaril(hydroxyzine).
Tecnu Poison Ivy Cream works Great at stopping the Pain!
If it’s really bad,
- Corticosteroid pills (usually prednisone) can dramatically reduce the symptoms caused by a strong reaction to poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Oral corticosteroids generally work better than other forms of these medicines for poison ivy, oak, or sumac. And they are usually taken until the symptoms are gone. How much medicine you take and for how long often depends on how soon you seek help after the rash appears.
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