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Relief For Poison Ivy Skin Allergy


Not all people are allergic to poison ivy or oak, but for those of us who are here are some tips.

The intensely itchy rash is an allergic reaction to the oil urishiol found on poison ivy, oak and sumac plants. This oil can be washed off with simple soap and water, but needs to be done quickly as the oil will quickly absorb into your skin. Once that happens, prevention of the rash is no longer possible.

* You can wash off 50% of the oil within 10 minutes
* You can wash off 10% of the oil within in 30 minutes
* After 1 hour, no amount of washing will make any difference. Nothing will prevent the soon to be rash.

Even if you do wash the oil off your skin with soap and water within an hour of exposure, play it safe and don’t touch your face or groin area for a full hour or so after exposure.

Once the rash appears, it may last for up to 2 weeks. There are no creams, lotions, or treatment which can shorten the duration. The rash must run its course.

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If your rash is a wet blistering mess, use a drying astringent like Domboro soaks to dry it out.

If your rash is milder or once the blistering dries up, apply a topical steroid like hydrocortisone 1% cream or anti-itching lotions like topical Calamine or Benadryl.

Cool baths with collodial oatmeal will also help. Moderate or tepid temperature showers are better than super hot temperature ones in relieving the itching.

If you have a severe case of poison ivy (ie severe reaction around the eyes or face, unable to sit, stand, or lie down): it is best to see your family physician or dermatologist.

Ivy block cream prevents poison ivy or oak, but only if it is applied 15 minutes before exposure. It doesn’t work after you’ve been exposed.

After one hour, you cannot spread poison ivy to someone else. Scratching or breaking the water blisters does not spread the poison ivy or the rash.