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Poison Oak / Ivy Itch Relief

May 8, 2013, by Ken Jorgustin

poison ivy itch relief

The best temporary relief for poison oak or poison ivy itch while suffering from the rash.

Run HOT water over the affected area, as HOT as you can tolerate without burning yourself… the HOTTER the water (don’t burn yourself), the more effective it will be to eliminate the itch!

Here are more details on how this works…


Hot Water Relieves Poison Oak / Ivy Itch

Start with hot water that you can tolerate and then increase the water temperature to the HOTTEST temperature that you can tolerate without burning yourself.

I must warn that the initial itch sensation from the hot water contacting the affected area will be quite overwhelming (at least it was for me). You will have a very intense urge to scratch the itch – but do not scratch!

You will know when you have reached a hot enough temperature when you begin to feel an intense itch sensation, much more itch sensation than ordinary. Trust me… it’s worth enduring.

Run the hot water for about two minutes. The urge to scratch will begin to reduce in intensity. A very HOT bath will work too. After the hot rinse, the itch will be completely gone for several hours! It really works!

How Hot Water Relieves Poison Oak / Ivy Itch

The immune system reacts with the poison ‘urushiol’ oil from the poison oak (or ivy) encounter, and generates histamines at the affected areas.

Hot water draws out the histamines from the skin. It takes the body several hours to build up more afterward. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl also helps, but will make you drowsy.


First Thing To Do After Poison Oak / Ivy Contact

When you first realize you have been exposed to poison ivy or poison oak, you have about 15 minutes (some say up to 2 hours) to greatly reduce or eliminate the symptoms.

Immediately run lots of cool or cold water over the skin. The best action is to take a cold shower and let the water rinse off the poison urushiol oil before it bonds with the skin.

The water will be spreading the oil around so you want the pores to close (that’s why you need cool water in this phase), and you need to rinse long enough for all of the oil to run off completely. Do not use warm or hot water during this first step, which will open the pores and allow the poison urushiol oil to penetrate.


Leaves Of  Three, Let Them Be


Poison Ivy and Poison Oak have 3 leaves and appear somewhat oily or shiny. The leaves will sometimes have a reddish hue depending on their age and the season. Poison Ivy leaves are more pointed than Poison Oak leaves.