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.

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