The bad news is that I got poison ivy again. The good news is that I get to take a picture this time so I can write a blog post about my homemade poison ivy concoction that worked. My apple cider vinegar (ACV) and other things recipe worked so well the first time I used it that I allowed myself the luxury of scratching the incredible itch. DO NOT SCRATCH! That's my #1 recommendation. That crazy, itchy, stingy rash spreads like wildfire! My #2 recommendation is to get apple cider vinegar on it right away. If it's a mild case, it can erase the problem in one application. If the poison ivy is all over or if you've made the mistake to scratch it, apply the concoction nearly constantly. The juicy little blisters will dry out in 3-5 days, depending a lot on how scratch-happy you are and on how much poison ivy oil made contact with your skin.
At least this time the rash was contained to my upper body, in contrast to when I forgot I was practicing with bike clips and remained attached to my bike when I fell into a full-on patch of poison ivy. It was everywhere! The ensuing thunderstorm, including hail, we rode through next didn't even wash off the oils. I'd recommend using soap as soon as possible if you know you've touched it. Instead, I didn't. It got worse than it looks in this photo. I blame it on the scratching.
The poison ivy leaves are a bit mitten-shaped and come in threes. They look harmless, yeah? Not!
As with all health questions, I googled "natural remedy" to find something to try since I hadn't gotten poison ivy since my medicine-using days. I found a concoction of ingredients I had at home, or you can get them at a natural foods store.
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons natural apple cider vinegar, with the mother (breaks down oils)
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (dries the blisters)
3 drops lavender essential oil (for itch)
3 drops tea tree essential oil (antiseptic)
3 drops peppermint essential oil (menthol cools and soothes inflammation and helps "drive" other oils into affected area)
I put this on with a dropper bottle and put some in a small roller bottle for my son, which he liked better. It's less waste than using a cotton ball. You can get dropper and roller bottles at most stores where essential oils are sold.
An oatmeal bath is great for soothing the itch, too. You could buy "oatmeal bath" or simply put rolled oats into a food processor and add to the bath. For more information and other ideas, check out the ACV recipe I used, and click on the recipe for more information and a DIY Natural article with helpful information. I was also told that an herbalist at Four Winds can make a recommendation that would knock out poison ivy in a jiffy. Stay safe this summer!