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Malaika’s Home Remedy of the Week: Poison Ivy

Malaika’s Home Remedy of the Week: The home remedy of the week is combating the powerful urushiol, an irritating resin that is found in several plants like poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.  As a gardener who married a rural man from Louisiana, I have seen how these toxic plants can ruin your summer. However, no worries, I am here to help you overcome your exposure to these beautiful yet irritating plants.

Now, I would like to explain to you why you are experiencing your current symptoms since encountering this plant. The oil (urushiol) from the toxic plant, poison ivy is what causes you to breakout and leads to itching and blisters. Below are a few tips to help ease you pain and assist you in recovering from the toxic yet beautiful plant.

First, you would need to rush to wash it off for at 15 minutes to get rid of the urushiol or use rubbing alcohol. Another alternative is cleaning off the urushiol with Tecnu, an over-the-counter solvent designed specifically to remove urushiol from the skin. Below are a few more solution in relieving your symptoms:

For Itching:

(1) You can use:vinegar

compress to dry the rash and relieve itching. Mix a half-cup white vinegar with 1.5 cups of water. Chill in the fridge. When you need a cool relief, moisten a cloth in the solution and press it onto the rash.

(2) Apply some: calamine lotion onto the rash. Calamine lotion is a classic poison ivy remedy relieves itch and will help dry up blisters. If you do not like how runny the lotion can be, you can mix some cornstarch to thicken it up.

(3) You can also soak a cloth in:cold milk and hold it again your skin. Cold milk is more soothing to itchy skin than cold water. Why this method works, it is still unknown.

(4) Use a cotton ball and apply some:witch hazel to treat your rash. Splash the skin with witch hazel after an unkind encounter of the ivy kind to temporarily ease the itch. The alcohol in witch hazel also helps dry the oozy poison ivy rash.

(5) Moisten a :plain tea bag (black or green and apply it to the itchy skin. The tea contains tannic acid known as an astringent. This helps contract inflamed tissue and relieve the itching.

(6) Take a warm bath with: colloidal oatmeal

 (like Aveeno) or plain oatmeal ground in a blender. I like Dr. Teal’s Colloidal Oatmeal product the best! His product has Epsom salt in addition to the colloidal oatmeal. The oatmeal helps dry the rash so that it will not become a blister. It also relieves the itch as well. Please note that oatmeal makes the tub slippery, so be careful getting out of the tub.

Hope you enjoyed this article! Please look out for many more to come… Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. Should you have extreme discomfort, severe blistering, swelling, or redness, please contact your healthcare provider immediately or call 911.

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