Itching and suffering from reactions to poison ivy? How do you cure the rash?
Poison ivy, oak and sumac sufferers are always searching for a cure to the painful itching, oozing and blistering rash, but it is not a disease and therefore cannot be "cured". However, rest easy knowing there are things you can do to relieve the symptoms, reduce exposure and potentially prevent a rash from happening.
Relieve the symptoms
The best way to get rid of poison ivy is to take care of two important steps:
- First, you will want to remove the rash-causing oil, urushiol. Special washes like Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser and Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub can remove this oil from the skin. Basic soap and water may sometimes move the oil around instead of removing it.
- Second, you want to relieve the symptoms and help dry the oozing blisters. Products like Calagel Anti-itch Gel and Tecnu Rash Relief Spray can alleviate the itch and pain while drying up the rash. It is important to note that if the blisters break, they do not contain urushiol and will not cause the rash to spread.
Knowing what poison ivy, oak and sumac looks like can help you identify the plants so you can avoid them. This can be difficult when the plants change colors throughout the seasons or if they are leafless, dead vines. Urushiol exists in all parts of the plants whether they are dead or alive so even vines can cause a rash.
Urushiol can also stay on surfaces of tools, clothing, shoes and equipment causing a rash through secondary contamination. Exposure to a miniscule amount of the oil can cause a full-blown reaction, even years later. Washing off these items with Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin cleanser after using them can help remove the oil so you won't encounter it later.
Dogs, cats and other pets can also come in contact with the oil. It is unlikely to bother them, but they can transfer it to you when you touch them. This is common with people who hike with their dogs or have pets who can enjoy outdoor areas where the poison ivy, oak and sumac grow. Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser can also be used to remove the oil from their fur.
Prevent a Rash
So how does one prevent dealing with another rash in the future? Washing with a cleanser such as Tecnu Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser or Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub after potential exposure to the plants can remove the rash-causing oil from the skin, hopefully before a reaction starts. We recommend using these products in the first 2-8 hours after exposure. It is important to note everyone's reaction time is different so you could need to wash off the plant oil sooner or have a longer timeframe you can wait before your body starts to react to the oil. It is a good idea to carry a cleanser with you while adventuring or working outdoors.