How to Treat Poison Ivy

It’s almost summer, so you’re probably planning on getting outside and working on some projects. Maybe you work as a landscaper or frequently encounter a variety of foliage – either way you’ll want to keep an eye out for poison ivy and its different forms.

Poison ivy, oak, and sumac are all spread by oil from the plant. You may come into contact with the oil directly or indirectly. For example, maybe your dog has the oil on its fur and passes it to you. Try to keep an eye out for the three-leafed plant as it leaves a nasty rash.

The American Academy of Dermatology, offers a wealth of knowledge when it comes to preventing and treating the various rashes and blisters from the ivy. They mention:

  • Rinsing your skin to prevent the oil from spreading over the skin
  • Washing your clothes (If you are a landscaper, pay attention. Wearing your work pants a few times without washing may be why you keep getting poison ivy.)

Check out their in-depth recommended treatments .

Rashes are said to last about 1-3 weeks. If your rash isn’t controlled consult a doctor as they can administer a shot or prescription to help the healing. If you choose to monitor the rash yourself, your best options are the following:

  • Don’t scratch! (It spreads oils)
  • Use a spray that reduces itching (creams may continue spreading by rubbing the infection, sprays allow you to treat the area without touching it)
  • Air it out (wear shorts or short sleeves and allow the oil to dry up)

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We hope you have a summer filled with flowers instead of poison ivy, but if you do run into some we hope you’ll find a quick healing! Enjoy the beautiful outdoors!