Health Tip: Treating Poison Ivy
(HealthDay News) -- If you've been exposed to poison ivy, a few suggestions can help ease the itch, prevent the rash's spread and reduce your risk of skin infection.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests:
Immediately after possible exposure, use soap and lukewarm water to wash the skin. Avoid scrubbing areas already laden with a poison ivy rash.
Remove all clothing that could have touched the plant, and wash immediately.
Use lukewarm soapy water to wash anything that may have touched the plant, including gardening tools, golf clubs, pet fur or pet leashes.
Don't scratch the area, since doing so could lead to a skin infection. Don't rub or remove peeling skin.
Soothe itchy skin with a short, lukewarm bath in colloidal oatmeal or baking soda. Then apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone to help ease itching.
Use a cool compress to soothe itchy skin, or take an oral antihistamine.