poison ivy

Got an itchy, red, swollen rash on your leg? Yep, you most likely rubbed up against one of those kings of making you itch-until-it-hurts-so-bad, poison ivy or poison oak. That pimple-like rash, caused by the oils in poison ivy or oak leaves, is probably not the look you were going for this summer on your tanned beach-ready legs. Besides looking like you developed some kind of plague, that rash is darn itchy! So itchy that all it makes you think is, “Can I get some relief around here!” We feel your pain.

Don’t let the names fool you. Poison ivy and poison oak aren’t really poisonous—just obnoxious. A poison ivy or poison oak rash should clear up on its own within two to four weeks. In the meantime check out these four natural remedies to soothe the discomfort caused by those nasty rashes.

1. Oatmeal bath

Run a bath with cool water. This isn’t luxuriate time, so skip the bubbles and make the water as cold as you can stand. While the tub is filling, blend one cup of oatmeal into a fine powder. Sprinkle the oatmeal mixture into the bath and step in. Soak up the liquid itching relief for about 15 to 20 minutes. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that will help relieve the itching, if only temporarily. Hey, it’s something right?

2. Banana peel

Rub the inside skin of a banana peel on the rash. You may look a bit mad, rubbing fruit on your leg, but this folk remedy is supposed to relieve itching caused by poison ivy, poison oak and bug bites. Next? Relax and eat the banana.

3. Aloe vera

Long touted for its benefits in treating minor burns, aloe vera will provide an oh-so good cooling reprieve from your poison ivy itching. Use the good stuff straight from the plant, not the bottled version. Rub the aloe vera juice liberally on the infected area. You should feel an immediate cooling sensation. 

4. Baking soda paste 

Mix together baking soda and just enough water to form a paste. This concoction, which is also great for cleaning by the way, will relieve the uncomfortable itching. Apply the mushy paste to the infected area to calm swelling and itching. Leave the paste on until it dries, and then rinse it off with cool water.