Seven out of 10 people are allergic to the poison ivy, making this the most common allergy in the world. People who have this allergy are susceptible to urushiol, an irritant resin found in poison ivy, cashew nuts and mango fruit peel.
Nobody would knowingly touch a toxic plant, but many people, not to mention the children wandering in the woods, touch this poisonous ivy. If you know you have been exposed, remove the urushiol by washing the area before it’s too late.
Go to the nearest stream if you are hiking and wash the resin before you have an allergic reaction. Once you came into contact with the poison ivy, the clock starts ticking: You have about 15 minutes to get rid of urushiol. Use warm water and soap, if available. If you can choose the type of soap, use one that does not contain moisturizing creams.
If it is impossible to wash immediately, clean your skin by rubbing with alcohol (this will dissolve the urushiol). If not available, you can use any product (or drink) that contains alcohol.
If you know how the Impatiens plant looks like and you see it nearby, crush a handful of leaves and stems and rub the affected area. It may seem strange, but this plant sometimes grows near the poison ivy.
Tear a leaf from a fresh aloe vera plant, remove the gel, and apply to affected areas. Aloe vera is good for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and has beneficial effects against poison ivy rashes.
Soothing the rashes
– Use a vinegar compress to dry out rashes and relieve pruritus. Mix half a cup of white vinegar with 1-1 / 2 cups of water. Leave it in the refrigerator. When needed, soak a cloth in the solution and apply to the rash.
– Soak a cloth in cold milk and apply to your skin. Cold milk is more calming for skin itching than cold water. The cause is unknown yet, but perhaps the fat in milk helps.
– Moisten a tea bag (black or green, no matter), and apply it to the rash. The tannic acid in tea, which is astringent, contracts the inflamed tissue, soothing the itch.