After spending months cooped up inside, you’re probably itching to get outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and warmer weather.
Though spending time outdoors benefits your physical and mental health, you may forget the positives if your time enjoying Earth’s natural beauty ends with an itchy poison ivy rash. But you don’t have to spend weeks suffering. At Associated Skin Care Specialists, our dermatologists help many patients get relief from their poison ivy and we want to help you too. Here, we want to share some of the best treatments to ease your poison ivy rash.
The problem with the poisoned plant
That itchy rash from your outdoor fun is an allergic reaction to an oily resin found in poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac plants. The oily resin, known as urushiol, is found in the leaves, stems, and roots of these plants.
Contact with any part of the plant may result in a red, blistery, itchy rash. It’s also possible to develop a poison ivy rash after touching other items that may have remnants of the oil, like your dog’s fur or the clothes you wore on your nature walk. The poison ivy rash may appear 12 to 48 hours after contact with the oil and last for three weeks.
At-home care for your poison ivy
If your poison ivy rash is mild, you may be able to get relief from the itching and pain with at-home care. To relieve your itch, the American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests you try:
- A short soak in a lukewarm oatmeal bath
- Cool compresses
- Cortisone cream
- Calamine location
- Over-the-counter antihistamine medication
Despite what you may have been told, poison ivy isn’t contagious. So, you can’t give it to someone else or even cause the rash to spread when you scratch it.
However, it’s not uncommon for a poison ivy rash to develop over time, which may make it look like the rash is spreading.
Professional treatment for your poison ivy
If your poison ivy rash is severe or isn’t improving with at-home care, it’s time to give us a call. To reduce the swelling and itching, we may prescribe an oral corticosteroid. Many patients also get relief from a prescription topical corticosteroid cream.
Poison ivy causes an intense itch that’s hard not to scratch, which may lead to an infection. If we suspect your rash isn’t improving because of an infection, we may take a tissue sample to confirm or rule out an infection and prescribe an antibiotic in addition to the corticosteroids
Our goal with a poison ivy rash is to stop the itch. The more you scratch your rash the longer it takes to heal. We may not be able to shorten the duration of your poison ivy, but we can help you get relief from the incessant itching and prevent prolonged suffering.
Don’t let your poison ivy keep you from enjoying the great outdoors, let us help you develop a plan to prevent and treat the itchy rash. Call our office in Blaine, New Brighton, Maple Grove, Fridley, Eden Prairie, or Coon Rapids, Minnesota today, or request an appointment online.