Poison Ivy Oak Home Remedies And Natural Cures
What is poison oak? Poison oak is generally found west of the Rocky Mountains on the US Pacific coast. It grows as a shrub or a tree (about 8 feet high), and sometimes also as a vine. The leaves are quite peculiar, growing in hairy lobe-like clusters of three or five. Their berry-like fruits are white and also quite hairy.
How does poison oak affect us? Poison oak is often considered a cousin of poison ivy. The stems, leaves and roots of the plants contain an oil called urushiol. This contains an extremely toxic chemical, which on direct or even indirect contact, can cause a severe allergic reaction. If you pat your dog after it has walked through a patch of poison oak, you may get an allergic reaction (but not your dog). Inhaling urushiol smoke also causes allergies, since it is absorbed through the mucous membranes of the nose and lips.
The toxic oil irritates the skin and causes rashes and intense itching, wherever it is absorbed by the body. The severe scratching may also lead to bumps, swelling and blisters. Symptoms may last for a week or much longer depending upon the severity of the infection
Home remedies for poison oak:
- Washing immediately under running water will help to wash off the histamines and prevent it from spreading further.
- Rub the affected areas with alcohol. After that, wash off thoroughly with soap and water.
- To relieve the itching and prevent it from spreading further, wet the affected areas and rub common table salt on them.
- The inner layer of banana peels has a cooling effect. Rub it on the rashes.
- Boil peach leaves, cool and apply on the rashes with a cotton ball. This will dry up the blisters formed by the poison oak.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of bleach in half a cup of warm water, and apply with a cotton ball.
- Soak a handful of oats in a cup of warm water, and apply it on the affected areas
- Rubbing the itchy rashes and blisters with aloe vera also provides instant relief.
How To Avoid Poison Oak With Natural Remedies
- Protect your skin by wearing long trousers, shirts with long sleeves, gloves and socks.
- Also apply some protective ointment or cream so that the poison oak cannot penetrate your skin.
- Never burn any poison oak, since the fumes also release the toxins.
- Include Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, zinc, calcium and beta-carotene. This will heal the inflammation, repair the damaged skin, prevent spread of infection and boost your immune system.
- A wonderful herbal medicine is goldenseal, a native North American root.