Summer is here, which means you might be spending more times outdoors. Whether you are hiking, camping, or gardening, your chances of running into poison ivy are likely, so knowing how to protect yourself from this poisonous plant is important. Instead of spending the summer itching from head to toe, take a look below at 7 ways to prevent and treat poison ivy. When you keep these tips in mind, you can keep yourself itch free and enjoy summer in the way it is meant to be enjoyed!
1. Remember the old saying, “Leaves of three, leave them be.”
Poison ivy is easily identifiable by the three leaves, a red stem, and vine like characteristics. However, poison ivy may lack one of these traits which may lead you to assume the plant is safe. Instead, keep the rule in mind that if a plant has three leaves, leave it be. Don’t touch it and instead play it safe.
2. Use a prevention spray.
Head to your local gardening center or Amazon where you can find poison ivy killing sprays. This is perfect for banishing poison ivy from your yard without having to touch the plant. If you notice any in your yard, treat it quickly before it has the chance to spread.
3. Cover legs and hands when working in the yard.
Wear long pants, sleeves, and gloves when working in the yard. This way should you come in contact with poison ivy, the oils from the plant won’t have the chance to touch your skin. Immediately remove and wash the clothing in hot water when you come indoors.
4. Use a deep cleansing scrub after being outside.
After hiking, camping, or yard work, use a deep cleansing scrub and hot water to clean your skin of any poison ivy oils it may have come in contact with. It is always wise to wash hands well after yard work, but be sure to get the legs, arms, and ankles well too.
5. Don’t burn unidentified plants.
If you typically burn your yard waste, you might want to think twice. Burning poison ivy can be a major health hazard. Don’t burn unidentified plants in your fire pits or bon fires and instead stick to kindling that you are sure of the source.
So even after taking great care, suppose you find yourself with poison ivy. Here are some things you can do to help speed up healing and reduce the itching that comes along with it.
6. Use oatmeal for soaks and wound coverings.
Take plain oatmeal and make a paste with it by adding baking soda and water. You can apply the paste to the poison ivy and also add it to your bath. It will help soothe the itch while also drying out the wound, which can help speed up the healing process.
7. Change linens with each use.
To avoid infecting others in the house or other areas of your body, change bedding daily and washcloths/towels daily until the rash is gone. Do not share linens with anyone else in the household.
Are you ready to get control of poison ivy? Give these tips for preventing and treating poison ivy a try and see what a difference they can make.