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Baking Soda Relieves Itch of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac

Home Remedy For Poison Ivy

Try as you might to avoid its shiny and oily leaves, the blistery rash caused by contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac can linger. One of the most common rashes for outdoorsy adults and children can be treated with a common ingredient found in your kitchen cabinet. Baking soda baths and pastes are home remedies endorsed by the American Academy of Dermatology to reduce the itch factor created by these plants.

After rinsing, not scrubbing, your skin with hot water to rinse off the oil do the following to relieve the itch. Draw a bath and add 1/2 cup of fresh baking soda (not the box that has been deodorizing your fridge) and soak for a 30 minutes. Once out of the bath, using a three to one ratio of baking soda to water, make a paste to apply to the affected area. Let the paste dry on your skin — it is believed that the baking soda pulls the caustic urushiol away from the skin, decreasing the itchiness.

If you experience a severe reaction after contact with one of these rash-producing plants, seek medical treatment. Prescription medication might be needed to reduce the swelling and itch.

Image Source: Thinkstock
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bonchicbongenre bonchicbongenre 6 years
I had a HORRIBLE case of poison ivy last year, I was covered from head to toe. I had to go on steroids and prescription medicine, but they didn't help that much. The only thing that really helped reduce itchinesses/redness was Aveno's oatmeal baths.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 6 years
I second scrubbing with Tecnu. I got into some poison ivy a couple of weeks ago, and this stuff literally saved my skin.
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I've never had poison ivy, but it sounds so horrible. Good to know that baking soda can help it. I'll remember that next time I go hiking or camping!
beautiful-disaster beautiful-disaster 6 years
when i was a kid we would play in the woods alot.one thing that worked for us (on a small area of course) was to just rub damp dirt on it and it would calm down and wouldnt keep itching.
beautiful-disaster beautiful-disaster 6 years
when i was a kid we would play in the woods alot. one thing that worked for us (on a small area of course) was to just rub damp dirt on it and it would calm down and wouldnt keep itching.
brindey brindey 6 years
Ohmigosh. So two years ago I had just moved to the east coast and was helping my aunt do yard work. It was the first warm, sunny day in MA so I was in a bikini. And we were burning the dead vines and whatnot. My aunt and I were covered head (yes-scaling in my scalp) to ankles (and yes-there), inside (coughing) and out, with the roping rash of poison ivy. I was on quadruple doses of benadryl, zyrtec and tylonol pm every four hours, and was using a bottle of caladryl every two days. Histamine, the thing alergic reactions cause, also is what keeps a person awake. I was awake for 16 days straight. Yes, even on that elephant's cocktail of the drugs listed above. Yes, it's possible. No, it isn't pretty. And then they put me on steroids. If you get it on you, I suggest you wash with this stuff called Technu, which is a soap in case of nuclear fallout.....and poison ivy. go figure.
brindey brindey 6 years
Ohmigosh. So two years ago I had just moved to the east coast and was helping my aunt do yard work. It was the first warm, sunny day in MA so I was in a bikini. And we were burning the dead vines and whatnot. My aunt and I were covered head (yes-scaling in my scalp) to ankles (and yes-there), inside (coughing) and out, with the roping rash of poison ivy. I was on quadruple doses of benadryl, zyrtec and tylonol pm every four hours, and was using a bottle of caladryl every two days. Histamine, the thing alergic reactions cause, also is what keeps a person awake. I was awake for 16 days straight. Yes, even on that elephant's cocktail of the drugs listed above. Yes, it's possible. No, it isn't pretty. And then they put me on steroids. If you get it on you, I suggest you wash with this stuff called Technu, which is a soap in case of nuclear fallout.....and poison ivy. go figure.
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