Knowing how to get rid of poison ivy is easy if you know exactly what to do. Poison ivy comes from sumac or oak plants. You get rashes if you come into contact with the plants’ oil. It usually takes up to 72 hours before the rash appears. It's characterized by nasty blisters that itch. Swelling may occur as well. Don't worry about giving it to your girlfriend, as it is not contagious.
To get rid of poison ivy, you will need:
- A couple of cups of oatmeal or baking soda
- A cool cloth
- Itch cream
- Take a warm bath or cool shower. When you first notice the rash and itch, take a warm bath with oatmeal or baking soda. Just add the ingredients into the bath tub as the water runs. Sit back and just relax. You can also take a cool shower to relieve the itch. Simply stand beneath the shower head until you feel less itchy. However, do not use hot water. It can aggravate the rash, cause redness and make the itch worse.
- Use a cool cloth. After taking your shower or bath, apply a cool cloth to the irritated area. Keep the cloth in place until you feel comfortable or the swelling goes down. Do not apply ice bags or commercial ice packs to your blisters. Cool, wet cloths work best to keep the area moist and less itchy.
- Apply itch cream. You can apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to relieve the itch. It will not get rid of poison ivy, but can save you the temptation of scratching like you have fleas. Scratching your rash is a big no-no. Your fingernails can actually cause a secondary infection in the blisters. If you just can't help yourself, wear mittens until the rash goes away.
Although these tips work well to help your itch and swelling, you won't be rid of poison ivy for several weeks.
You should call your doctor if the rash:
- Causes pain.
- Spreads to your eyes, mouth or genitals.
- Oozes pus.
- Causes a fever of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.