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Quick Relief (Albeit Temporary) from Poison Ivy

By robertduval14
June 7, 2013

If you are dealing with a bit of Poison Ivy, particularly on the hands or forearm area, quick and intense temporary relief can be had by running hot water (as hot as you can stand it without burning yourself) over the affected area. The effect won't last a terribly long time, but the level of relief is unmatched.

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jun 6, 2013 6:11 PM CST
I volunteer one or two days a week at our small botanical gardens and unfortunately we have a lot of poison ivy in areas of the gardens ... I'm definitely going to try this next time I have a run in with that pesky and irritating weed! Thumbs up
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Pat
Indianapolis, Indiana (Zone 6a)

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Pat72
Jun 6, 2013 6:43 PM CST
I'm no expert on this by any means outside an experience I had with poison ivy, so please take this lightly. I spent a day tearing down poison ivy off of my Aunt's house some years back. Sure enough, even after a very intense showering afterwards, I still had poison ivy on my arms, legs and stomach. My father spoke of a doctor that he knew that had a found a way to eliminate the instant urge to scratch the poisonous infection. I was completely skeptical about doing this very odd and unexpected remedy to keep your scratching down, but am guaranteed to try it should I ever get poison ivy again. Stick with me, because this really is very strange lol.

Buy dry Tide laundry detergent, but it MUST be regular Tide. NOT Tide with bleach, or Tide with anything at all, but regular Tide ONLY. Mix it with water so that it is creamy like creamy peanut butter, or if you have ever installed ceramic tile in your shower or flooring, the same style then of mixing tile grout. After your mix is complete, place it on the affected area but be ready! For a second or two, it will burn! After that, you will no longer feel the desire to scratch the area, and additional application of this mix may be necessary. I know it sounds odd, but it really worked for me, as odd as it may seem Smiling
"I am a drug. People take me." ---Salvador Dali
Take a look at my blog here on ATP, "Balcony Bliss" Smiling
[Last edited by Pat72 - Jun 7, 2013 4:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
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robertduval14
Jun 6, 2013 8:51 PM CST

Plants Admin

The thing I like most about using simple hot water is that I don't have to look like a frosted pastry or have a need to grout my hand/arm. It's clean, it's easy, it's pretty much there when needed, nothing to mix, and the effect is instant.
Name: Pat
Indianapolis, Indiana (Zone 6a)

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Pat72
Jun 6, 2013 8:58 PM CST
Please let me take nothing away from your idea Rob, that isn't at all my intent, please forgive me. This is just a remedy I was made aware of, and thought I would share Smiling
"I am a drug. People take me." ---Salvador Dali
Take a look at my blog here on ATP, "Balcony Bliss" Smiling
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
Annuals Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Spiders! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US
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robertduval14
Jun 6, 2013 9:12 PM CST

Plants Admin

lol. I did not take it that way at all. Sometimes intent is lost without hearing something spoken out loud. I was not making light of yours or anyone else ways of dealing with poison ivy/oak/sumac. If something works, then by all means, do it. Poison Ivy sucks. I get it REAL bad when I do get it (blisters commonly bigger than a quarter) and this was the first thing I ever tried (and I've tried LOTS of things) that works the way this does. Out of this world relief that borders on being a pleasurable feeling. (I was told by someone or read somewhere that the reason it works is that the hot water causes a reaction in your skin that mimics the feeling that scratching brings, but because the water is washing over the entire area it does it very quickly...unsure if the source of that particular info is reliable or not since I don't remember where it came from).
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Jun 6, 2013 9:17 PM CST
" I'm definitely going to try this next time I have a run in with that pesky and irritating weed!" I agree Thumbs up
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Jun 6, 2013 9:19 PM CST
Hi Pat!

Welcome! Welcome! to ATP! Welcome!

Have to remember your tip! Will have to by the dry Tide for it as I use the liquid Tide normally.
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Jun 7, 2013 3:50 AM CST
someone told me they use vinegar on it.. this article says a banana peel rubbed on the area will help.. not sure about that

http://voices.yahoo.com/5-natural-home-remedies-treat-poison...
Name: Pat
Indianapolis, Indiana (Zone 6a)

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Pat72
Jun 7, 2013 4:42 AM CST
robertduval14 said:lol. I did not take it that way at all. Sometimes intent is lost without hearing something spoken out loud. I was not making light of yours or anyone else ways of dealing with poison ivy/oak/sumac. If something works, then by all means, do it. Poison Ivy sucks. I get it REAL bad when I do get it (blisters commonly bigger than a quarter) and this was the first thing I ever tried (and I've tried LOTS of things) that works the way this does. Out of this world relief that borders on being a pleasurable feeling. (I was told by someone or read somewhere that the reason it works is that the hot water causes a reaction in your skin that mimics the feeling that scratching brings, but because the water is washing over the entire area it does it very quickly...unsure if the source of that particular info is reliable or not since I don't remember where it came from).


Ahh, ok cool Big Grin I'm the same way---when I get it, I get it bad! lol. It was why I decided to try anything, even if it sounded kinda crazy, Sticking tongue out
"I am a drug. People take me." ---Salvador Dali
Take a look at my blog here on ATP, "Balcony Bliss" Smiling
Name: Pat
Indianapolis, Indiana (Zone 6a)

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Pat72
Jun 7, 2013 4:45 AM CST
Marilyn said:Hi Pat!

Welcome! Welcome! to ATP! Welcome!

Have to remember your tip! Will have to by the dry Tide for it as I use the liquid Tide normally.
Yes, it's an odd solution, but it did work Smiling Oh, I should edit that post so that people know to use the dry Tride lol and thanks for the warm welcome! Smiling

"I am a drug. People take me." ---Salvador Dali
Take a look at my blog here on ATP, "Balcony Bliss" Smiling
[Last edited by Pat72 - Jun 7, 2013 7:46 AM (+)]
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jun 7, 2013 9:30 AM CST
EEEK! The reason why the Tide works is because it literally chemically burns your skin overriding the itch receptors!

What causes the itch in poison ivy is urushiol which is oily. A quick fix for the itching is 1 tbs of bleach to 1 cup of water. That will break up the urushiol. Dab it on the affected area. Once the itching stops, rinse the area with water, pat dry with a paper towel but do not rub the area. Then dab on some calamine lotion.

All clothes that have been in contact should be washed separately with bleach and all garden tools should be wiped off with a half and half solution of bleach to water.

If you know you are going to be working in an area with poison ivy you can spray the poison ivy with a half and half solution of bleach and water - it will neutralize the urushiol on the leaves. Just be careful not to get it on plants or grass you like as it will also start to kill the poison ivy.

A good way to kill poison ivy is spray the leaves with bleach full strength. Now before someone says EEK that's bad for the ground, it isn't. Once bleach dries it become inert, even after an area cleaned with bleach gets wet again.

I am one of the lucky people who do not react badly to urushiol producing plants like poison ivy or poison oak. I guess that's why I always get volunteered to remove it.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

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Name: Pat
Indianapolis, Indiana (Zone 6a)

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Pat72
Jun 7, 2013 10:39 AM CST
Wow, didn't know that! Just glad it works with no side effects thereafter or scarring. Thanks for pointing that out tho! Smiling
"I am a drug. People take me." ---Salvador Dali
Take a look at my blog here on ATP, "Balcony Bliss" Smiling
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Jun 7, 2013 11:43 AM CST
I can verify the hot water works. I use it all the time when I get that insane urge to scratch myself to death. I seem to be running into the dratted stuff alot here lately.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 7, 2013 9:06 PM CST
May I assume you are doing this 'hot water treatment' well after you have washed/cleansed the area with the proper soap/cleaner and COOL water. Some people reading/skimming this thread will get the [lame] idea that if they are exposed to PI they should start heading for hot tap water FIRST even before they wash the dang stuff off their skin, and using hot water while the U oil is still on the skin surface will only open the pores and invite more problems.

I understand you are making an effort to relieve the urge to scratch, but let's get people to wash first using cool water and their soap/cleaner of choice.

Thank you for listening to my opinion.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

Alana
Jun 8, 2013 1:38 AM CST
If you use cold water to rinse before you use soap is the suggestion from the MO conservation Dept. The idea is that the water will rinse most of the oil off your skin. Although the original suggestion did not mention the temperature of the water used for washing I would suggest that the coolest you could stand would be best. Hot water will open your pores more than the cooler water.

The reason that you do not use soap first is that the soap not only breaks down the poison ivy oils but also your skin oils. If you do not rinse thoroughly the mixed oils could remain on the skin.
AH
Name: Sharon Mc
Upstate SC (Zone 7b)
Peonies Region: South Carolina
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SRMc207
Jun 8, 2013 4:16 AM CST
I have long used the almost scalding hot water trick for itchy over reactions. I also treat ant and mosquito bites this way to get relief; right before I go to bed and in the middle of the night if it is bad enough to wake me up.

I read somewhere that it has to do with long and short nerve fibers. The hot water overloads one of them, and blocks the signal of the other, if I recall correctly.

SharonMc

All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
Annuals Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Spiders! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US
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robertduval14
Jun 8, 2013 5:24 AM CST

Plants Admin

To clarify, this 'treatment' is for dealing with the rash AFTER you have already got it. This is not meant to be used to clean the oils off the skin, this is meant to bring relief once you have already gotten the rash from exposure. It's not meant for 5 mins after you touch PI, but the the days after when the itch sets in.
Name: Pat
Indianapolis, Indiana (Zone 6a)

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Pat72
Jun 8, 2013 5:27 AM CST
robertduval14 said:To clarify, this 'treatment' is for dealing with the rash AFTER you have already got it. This is not meant to be used to clean the oils off the skin, this is meant to bring relief once you have already gotten the rash from exposure. It's not meant for 5 mins after you touch PI, but the the days after when the itch sets in.
A quick remedy for an already confirmed infection, not a preventative measure Smiling I'm actually poised to give your remedy a try next time I get PI, robertduval Smiling

"I am a drug. People take me." ---Salvador Dali
Take a look at my blog here on ATP, "Balcony Bliss" Smiling
Name: Pat
Indianapolis, Indiana (Zone 6a)

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Pat72
Jun 8, 2013 5:29 AM CST
Welcome! SRMc207 to ATP!! Smiling
"I am a drug. People take me." ---Salvador Dali
Take a look at my blog here on ATP, "Balcony Bliss" Smiling
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jun 8, 2013 6:51 AM CST
Definitely clean with cold water when first exposed to PI. The colder the better for me then soap and rinse with cold water again. The hot water is for afterwards when you get that strong itchy feeling that drives you insane unless you do something about it. I also follow the hot water treatment with the coldest water I can when the itch is really really bad.

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