In any wooded area, surrounding fauna present several dangers, including the possibility of touching poison ivy. This plant secretes a skin-irritating oil that causes an itchy, red rash. For some, coming in contact with poison ivy causes a mild reaction. But for those who are allergic to the plant, the rash can cause large, pus-filled blisters, or swelling that may restrict breathing. While only time will cure poison ivy, there are several remedies to ease the discomfort.
Take a shower immediately after coming in contact with the plant to remove the harmful oils from the skin. In some cases this will keep a rash from forming. Apply a medicine dedicated to poison ivy treatment that removes the oil from the skin.
Apply wet compresses to the affected area to cool the burning and itching. If cold compresses are not available, soak the affected area in cold water.
Soak your body in a bath tub filled with oatmeal, or an oatmeal solution made specifically for poison ivy treatment such as a colloidal oatmeal bath. The bath should be cool or warm, never hot or scalding as this will irritate the rash.
Cover the rash after soaking with an anti-itching solution such as calamine lotion. This soaks up the oil as well as dries blisters as they form.
Take an antihistamine tablet to relieve itching. Several 24-hour tablets are available in over-the-counter forms.