Camping With Poison Ivy

Poison ivy, is a very common plant found in most areas of the united states.One form of the plant grows low to the ground and is usually found in patches of plants and looks like weeds growing.The size of the plant range from 6-30 inches high.The other form is a hairy vine that grows up a tree.Both have stems with three leaves.You may have heard the old saying, Leaves of three, let it be.This is because most people are allergic to poison ivy.


Between 25-40 million people in the United States need medical treatment for poison ivy dermatitis every year.People of all races and skin types are at risk for developing it.The severity of a person’s reactions tends to decrease with age, especially in people who have had mild reactions.People that camp,hike,fish and hunt are at a higher risk because of the repeated exposure to the toxic plant.

Signs and Symptoms

After contact with urushiol, the oil of the plant approximately 50% of the people develop signs and symptoms of poison ivy dermatitis.The symptoms and severity can differ from person to person.The most common signs and symptoms of poison ivy dermatitis are intense itching, swelling, and skin redness.These symptoms usually develop within four hours to four days.After the initial symptoms, the person develops fluid filled blisters that are often arranged in a streak like pattern.


Poison ivy dermatitis usually resolves within one to three weeks without treatment.The most common complication is bacterial skin infections, the risk of infection can be reduced by not scratching and keeping the rash clean.Treatments that may help the itching, soreness, and discomfort caused by poison ivy, are calamine lotion, antihistamines, topical steroids,and other steroids.

Homemade Remedies

Get quick relief for poison ivy with home remedies using ingredients direct from your kitchen or camping tent, especially when there is no calamine lotion on hand.Learn how to use remedies such as oatmeal, vinegar, baking soda, and other effective and soothing treatments.


Simply boil up some oatmeal in water.Let it cool for a few minutes, then apply warm to the effected area, the mixture should be applied until a thick layer forms.Let it harden and dry.Most people swear by this treatment, Which is sometimes combined with a tablespoon or two of baking soda for extra relief from itching.

Baking Soda

This treatment has also become a classic home cure, made by mixing 3 teaspoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water until a thick paste forms.Apply to the rash and let dry.Another tried and true method is the baking soda bath.


Just sprinkle small amounts of vinegar on the poison ivy rash for instant relief from the itch.It smells bad but it does seem to draw out the poison in the rash.White distilled vinegar seems to work best.

Dishwashing Soap

Perhaps the most practical treatment of all, dishwashing soaps have a anti-grease agent in them and make it a common sense remedy for poison ivy when applied liberally from the bottle to the rash.Wash off with clean cool water and dry.

I am no Doctor and don’t claim to be.I’m just a camper that has heard of and used some of the remedies.Try them if you like they may work for you they may not.Just remember not to go to the restroom, after being in contact with poison ivy until you clean your hands like i didn’t do.

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