The summer season brings close encounters of the itchy variety, and poison ivy is no exception. If you have had a reaction to poison ivy, here’s what you need to do!
First, if you or your child was just exposed, jump in the shower or wash of IMMEDIATELY. There is only a window of about 5 minutes where you can possibly wash off the sap (which is what actually causes the poison ivy reaction) before it is too late. So don’t even wait for the water to get warm, this is an every second counts situation!
If more than five minutes has passed, a good washing down is recommended, as this will help prevent the sap from spreading. If you have it on your legs only, but then touch your legs, you can spread the sap to your hands, and then anything (or anyone!) those hands touch!
Watch for any serious reaction, particularly anaphylactic, as some people can have a life threatening reaction. If there is a serious reaction, call the hospital and/or 911 for assistance.
Once a rash has developed, you can treat with this home remedy. In a lukewarm bath mix 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 1/2 cup of either, if you don’t have both) and soak for as long as desired. Make sure you do use lukewarm water, as hot can aggravate the rash.
After soaking, calamine lotion is the best topical treatment.