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Soothing Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak 
by Mary M. Alward August 04, 2005

If you have been exposed to poison ivy and poison oak, there's no need to suffer from itching that drives you insane. Instead, use one of these remedies to bring much needed relief.

The most common allergies in North America are the ones relating to poison ivy and poison oak. More than half of the population of the continent is allergic to both of these plants.

Most times people do not realize they’ve been exposed to these plants until they get the horrific itch and scarlet red rash that goes with them, which are both caused by the oil, urushiol, which is toxic and found in both poison ivy and poison oak. Some people are so sensitive to this oil that they have to be hospitalized, while others barely notice that they have been exposed.

Sensitivity to usushiol oil can occur at any age. The best remedies to poison ivy and poison oak are substances that will annihilate urushiol. However, keep in mind that what works for others may not work for you.

Urushiol Oil

Urushiol is the active ingredient in both poison ivy and poison oak. It is one of the most potent toxins on earth. The amount that can cause an allergic reaction is measured in nanograms and reactions can be caused by as little as one nanogram. However, most people react in the 100 nanogram range, which is very little when you consider that a nonogram is one billionth of a gram. That means that less than one quarter of an ounce of urushiol can cause a reaction in all humans. Some people could react to the minute amount that it would take to cover a pin head.

Stop the Itch

If you’ve accidentally been exposed to either poison ivy or poison oak, you’ll know whether or not you are immune. If you are allergic, a scarlet red rash will appear and you will itch unbearably. Though the rash looks nasty, it is the itch that will send you out of your mind. What can you do about the itch? Read on.


Calamine lotion is a skin protector that has been around for years. It has a soothing action that cools and distracts your skin from the itching sensation. When you have poison ivy or poison oak, the blood vessels develop gaps that leak fluid through the skin. This causes oozing and blisters. When you cool the skin, the vessels contract to reduce leakage. Calamine lotion leaves a powdery residue on the skin that absorbs the oozing and develops a crust, which keeps the blisters from sticking to your clothing. Apply calamine three to four times a day. This keeps the rash from getting too dry, which make itching worse. Stop applying calamine lotion when the oozing stops.



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