Poison ivy grows in most areas of the United States, and can be found on the ground as a bush, climbing up a tree as ivy or as small unassuming leaves. Not only do the leaves of poison ivy cause rash outbreaks, but the roots can create rashes too. Poison ivy usually creates a mild, yet bothersome, rash, but more serious outbreaks can require professional medical attention. Because itching and burning can be an intense sensation, home remedies should relieve the itching and prevent the poison from spreading to other areas of the body.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an effective treatment for poison ivy because of its anti-inflammatory properties as well as for its ability to equalize the pH balance on the rash. When used as a topical application, apple cider vinegar will reduce the severity of itching and shorten the duration of the rash.
Run a bath with hot water and place four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the bathwater. Submerge the body part with the poison ivy rash and soak in the tub for 30 minutes. If the rash is moderate, a mild stinging sensation might be present, but will pass after several minutes. Drain the water and take a warm shower to eliminate the vinegar smell from your skin. This treatment is effective for large poison ivy rashes along the legs and abdomen.
For a topical application, place two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 5 tablespoons of water. With a cotton ball, dab the solution onto the rash. Do not use the same cotton ball to treat more than one area. Repeat this process up to three times per day for pain and itch relief.
Baking soda can provide relief from the itching as well as reduce the severity of blistering and pain. Baking soda is safe to use on sensitive skin or on rashes that are located on sensitive parts of the body. By applying baking soda daily onto the rash, the duration of the outbreak will be shortened and the desire to itch will decrease.
Mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water and stir. The baking soda will turn into a thick paste that is easily applied to the rash area. For larger rash areas, double the ingredients to 6 teaspoons of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of water. Liberally apply the baking soda paste on the rash. Allow the paste to harden, which usually takes 15 to 30 minutes, before washing it off with warm water. This remedy is safe to use several times per day, which makes it ideal for itching and pain relief.