Poison sumac is a plant that releases a resin known as urushiol when its stems, leaves and fruits become bruised or damaged. Medical experts say that majority of people in the US are allergic to this urushiol, developing a really itchy and blistering rash within 1 to 3 days after coming into contact with it.
Also known as thunderwood, poison sumac thrives exclusively in wet areas and lots of it can be found in the eastern US as well as southeast Canada.
Severe rashes caused by poison sumac sometimes call for the administration of corticosteroids to have the itching and inflammation put under control. It is also possible for a doctor to prescribe antibiotics if an infection is present — yes, an infection may strike if scratching causes skin breakage and bacterial multiplication.
For mild cases, OTC solutions such as antihistamines may be taken by an individual. Calamine lotion may also be applied. However, it’s common knowledge that pharmaceutical solutions can cause unfavorable side effects.
There are also numerous home remedies that are tried-and-tested for poison sumac. Opting for them is ideal for those who like to steer clear of oral or topical drugs. Below are some of the best all-natural remedies that you may try for dealing with the signs and symptoms of poison sumac, and accelerating the healing process:
A small towel may be dipped in cold water and then placed neatly on the affected areas of the body. This home remedy is very good at relieving severe itchiness that is associated with poison sumac. Scratching is a no-no because, just like what’s mentioned earlier, it can pave the way for a skin infection.
Other than cold water, cold milk is also very good at easing the signs and symptoms of poison sumac. A cotton ball may be used for applying milk straight from the refrigerator on red, blistered and itchy skin areas. This may be repeated several times a day whenever necessary to help ward off the urge to scratch.
Many people who are allergic to poison sumac also count on apple cider vinegar, which is very good at removing toxins as well as reducing itchiness and inflammation. Cotton pads soaked in apple cider vinegar may be placed and left on affected areas. The best apple cider vinegar to use is the kind that’s organic, raw and unfiltered.
You may place a banana peel (fleshy part facing down) on the rash for several minutes, securing it in place with adhesive tape or bandage. Aside from banana peel, you may also count on thin slices of cucumber to do the job. The best cucumber slices to use are those that are cooled in the fridge for a while.
Taking a cool bath for a few minutes can help provide much-needed relief from poison sumac. A lot of individuals who are allergic to the plant swear by the effectiveness of staying in a cool bathwater with a cup of baking soda dissolved in it. Other than baking soda, you may also dissolve a cup of ground oatmeal in it.
If you want to skip the use of calamine lotion as it can cause side effects, you may go for aloe vera gel. This gooey substance has amazing skin soothing properties, which helps provide relief from the itchiness poison sumac brings. If you have no access to aloe vera gel, you may simply use 100 percent pure aloe vera juice.
Seeking medical attention is of utmost importance if there’s a rash in the genitals or around the eyes and mouth, or breathing difficulty because of severe swelling in the face.
Do you know any other effective home remedy for poison sumac? If so, kindly share it in the comment section below.