Which of the many poison ivy treatments do you use? Did you know that it is documented that there is no single treatment that works for everybody? The treatments that are listed below are some of the most outrageous ones and most come with warnings to actually not use them. While these poison ivy treatments seem odd, the logic of trying them out of desperation is incredible. For each of the listed bad treatments, a good alternate treatment is listed.
The logic of bleach being a strong cleaner that can eat away at oils is hard to fault. However, the recommendation to leave it on until the skin starts to burn is probably only good for getting a chemical burn.
Alternative: Rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol poured or sprayed on an area that has come into contact with poison ivy will help break down the oil that causes poison ivy symptoms. Using rubbing alcohol is actually the recommended method of treatment by the United States’ Food and Drug administration.
2. Scalding hot water.
Again the logic here is not that far off: If warm water is good, hot water is better and if it scalds my skin it has to be working even better. The reality is that any amount of heat applied to an itch will help mitigate that itch. Scalding hot water is not going to work any better than just simply hot water, it just is going to add pain to the list of complaints later.
Alternative: Use a compress of warm water that is comfortable to the touch.
3. Raiding the Cleaning products
There are many anecdotes of using whatever cleaner the person could find to try to treat their poison ivy symptoms. From Ammonia and ammonia based products such as glass cleaner to laundry additives. The prevailing theory is that these strong cleaners will strip the oil that causes the poison ivy symptoms from the skin. None of these have been tested though and most of them recommend that they do not come in contact with your skin.
Alternative: Use Zanfel or one of the other products specifically designed to break down and absorb the oil that causes the itchy rash. These products are soaps and are drying and mildly abrasive. However, they contain a special clay that not only pulls the oil off the skin immediately after contact, it can pull the oil out of the skin even after it has bonded to the skin. These soaps are actually some of the best poison ivy treatments because they are treating the cause rather than working to make the symptoms be less severe or noticeable.