Summertime means taking some time off to enjoy the wonderful outdoors. Unfortunately, this also means that most people will accidentally come into contact with poison oak. Poison oak can really spoil a day out in the outdoors. Coming into contact with the poisonous leaves, stems and roots of the poison oak plant can give you a severe itchy rash that lasts for about one to three weeks. Even though the only real way to get rid of this rash completely is to give it some time, there are several home remedies for poison oak that will help ease the pain and the itching associated with the plant. Here are some simple and effective home remedies to treat poison oak rash.
Home Remedies For Poison Oak Rash
Immediate skin care measures: First, strip off all your clothes and put them in a plastic bag and then wash them separately from any other thing as soon as you can. Another quick poison oak home treatment is to apply some rubbing alcohol to your skin to help dissolve the oil from the poison oak. Since the harmful oil from the plant seeps into the skin bit by bit, adding some rubbing alcohol to the affected area can help prevent any further spread. Alternatively, you can rinse the affected area with cool water. Don’t use warm or even hot water, because this will end up opening up the pores, allowing more toxins to get inside your skin. If possible, keep the area under cold running water for about ten to fifteen minutes. You can also apply cold compresses on the area or place a wrapped icepack for about ten to twenty minutes for quick relief.
Treating the itch: Oatmeal bath is a great poison oak home treatment. To prepare this bath, blend one cup of oatmeal in a blender and then add it to your warm bath water. Avoid using hot water so as not to open up the pores. Alternatively, you can apply Aloe Vera to the area. The gel from this plant has some cooling effect that will provide you with quick relief. Also, if you have some dark-brewed coffee, use cotton pads to dab it onto the affected area. Coffee contains chlorogenic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory. Make sure you use chilled coffee. You can also rinse the area with apple cider vinegar. Gently apply the vinegar to the rash using a cotton pad, or rinse the area with a mixture of vinegar and water in equal proportions. You may also seek relief using tea tree or lavender essential oils.
Preventing any future exposure to the plant: Once you’ve taken every measure necessary to rid your skin of the rash, it would be wise to prevent any future re-occurrence. So, a good home remedy for poison oak that will prevent any future exposure is to bathe your pets if they have been exposed to this plant. Pets may not be sensitive to poisonous oak, but if this plant’s oil gets trapped on their fur, you could suffer from an allergic reaction if you own the pet. Use pet shampoo to clean your pets and don’t forget to put on rubber gloves. Also, remember to wear appropriate gear if you plan to go to a place that could have this plant. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks as well as a closed-toe shoe to avoid getting into contact with poison oak.
Get Relief With Poison Oak Home Treatments
The above-mentioned poison oak home remedies are very effective for relieving the itchiness caused by this plant. However, the best natural home poison oak remedy that will completely get rid of the problem is to eliminate the poison oak from your yard or garden. To achieve this, you need to dig up the young plants or cut back the larger ones to ground level. You can also spray the poison oak with herbicide containing glyphosate. While doing this, make sure you wear long-sleeved shirts and a pair of gloves to avoid any contact.