If you’re planning on taking a walk out in nature, you may want to find out how to get rid of a poison ivy rash, so that in case you come in contact with the dreaded plant, you’ll at least know what you can do to minimize the ensuing rash or even how to avoid it altogether.
To get rid of a poison ivy rash as quickly as possible, you will need:
- Cortisone medications and sprays
- Domeboro tablets
- Clean bandage or rag
- Room temperature water
- Calamine lotion
- Cotton balls
- Colloidal bath
- Cortisone medications do a good job of reducing the itching and inflammation that comes with the rash. There are oral meds that are safe to take for a duration of two to three weeks, but if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a peptic ulcer, only do so under the care of a physician. There are also cortisone sprays and lotions that you can apply directly to the affected area about four times throughout the day.
- Use moist compresses to improve the itching and blisters of a poison ivy rash. Dissolve Domeboro tablets—available at pharmacies—in a pint of water, and soak a clean bandage or rag in the solution. Then apply it to the affected area two to three times a day for twenty minutes at a time. Use room temperature water for the compress, as hot water can actually worsen the rash.
- Apply calamine lotions to soothe the skin. Use cotton balls to apply the lotion—such as Caladryl—to the areas affected by the poison ivy rash, which will benefit from calamine’s ability to dry the blisters and thus speed up healing. It will also ease the itching that’s probably driving you a little nuts. You can also use a colloidal bath, such as Aveeno Oatmeal Bath, to relieve the itching for up to several hours.
- Antihistamines will reduce the itching. Before you go to bed you can try taking an antihistamine like Benadryl to get the itching of the poison ivy rash under control. It is best taken at night because of the drowsiness it causes in many people, but if you’re lucky enough to have a job where you can nod off for a while without getting in trouble, you can also take it during the day.
Ideally you know how to identify this plant and will be able to avoid it, thus never suffering from a case of poison ivy rash. If not, take the steps above so you can experience a milder rash that will disappear more quickly and make the experience the least unpleasant as possible.