Summer brings pool parties, barbecues, camping and lots of opportunities for rashes.
Poison Sumac, Ivy, and other plants containing poisonous skin irritants lurk in woods and back yards. If you were ever unfortunate enough to understand the pain (and embarrassment) of dramatic swelling, redness, and bumpiness on skin due to rashes, you know how important it is to have quick relief at your fingertips. Calamine lotion and other topical creams are first choice for many, but they can be inconvenient and uncomfortable!
If you find yourself short of topical remedies try these ideas for immediate relief in a pinch:
1. Potatoes, Cucumbers, or Watermelon Rind
Taters, cukes, and watermelon rind contain anti-inflammatory properties and are known to soothe and cool skin on contact. For best results when using potatoes blend and make paste to apply on skin. Cukes and watermelon rind can simply be sliced and laid on infected areas.
2. Corn Starch or Baking Soda
Corn starch and baking soda are a drying agents and will help slowly dry the rash out without making it itchier. Place corn starch liberally on rash to serve as a barrier for your skin under loose clothing, or better yet, apply the powders to skin and leave exposed to air. Another option is to draw a bath using approximately two cups of baking soda.
Oatmeal is a great option to rest agitated skin. Add one to two cups of oatmeal to bath or make paste with oats and water and apply directly to infected area.
4. Coffee, Apple Cider Vinegar, or Vodka
Your morning brew, salad dressing, and cocktail all have one thing in common – sprayed or gently applied to rashes they relieve itch and help heal rashes.
5. Witch Hazel
Use this beautifying agent to reduce redness and itch. Bonus: Witch Hazel’s scent will boost your mood and keep your skin feeling cool.
6. Aloe Vera
Whatever form it comes in, Aloe Vera is necessary to have on hand for any skin infection. If you have a live plant, cut the plant and use the excreted juice on skin. It may be a bit sticky, but its healing power is revered by many cultures and is used in the majority of topical rash treatments available today.
Washing your skin with soap and water after plant contact can prevent any need for further treatment. Be sure to educate yourself and your family on what is in your yard and your surrounding area so you can avoid the poisonous plants. If you do contract a rash, see your doctor if your rash worsens with topical treatments or is painful to the touch.