Poison Oak rash – an allergic reaction developed when a person comes in contact with poison oak, poison ivy or poison sumac leaves, and plants. The main culprit for this situation is urushiol –oil released by the stems and leaves of these plants.
The rash develops on an average of 1 – 6 days after the contact with the plant. The rash spreads drastically in the initial days. Signs of poison oak rash include – stinging, itching, minor skin irritation, red rash and small – large blister that ooze liquid.
This allergic reaction can be life-threatening if it is severe. Here are few signs of severe allergic reaction:
- Shortness of breathing
- Facial or eye swelling
- Feeling discomfort while swallowing
- 25% of the body is covered by rashes
- Yellow liquid with odor leaking from the blisters
- Rash on eyes, genitals, lips, throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Fever and nausea
If you don’t have any of these severe infection symptoms, then poison oak can be treated at home.
In this article, we will have a look on how rubbing alcohol helps in treating the poison oak rash.
Is rubbing Alcohol Good for Poison Oak?
When we come in contact with the poison oak plants, the toxic oil (urushiol) released by them seeps into our skin. When the rubbing alcohol is applied to the area, it will prevent the spreading of the rash. Though this process may not provide immediate relief, it will treat the root of the problem.
Rubbing alcohol contains disinfectant, cooling and soothing properties which provide relief from the symptoms of poison oak rash.
It also sterilizes the affected skin to prevent the infection. It also dries out the oozing rash.
How to Use Rubbing Alcohol to Treat Poison Oak?
We have listed some quick and reliable methods for treating poison ivy rash. For these methods, you only need simple off the shelf ingredients. Choose one among them and try it regularly.
1) Rubbing Alcohol
This is a very quick and simple process which can be repeated at any time. You can follow this method as soon as you have realized the contact with the poison oak plants. It prevents the rash to become severe.
- Using a cotton swab, apply some rubbing alcohol to the affected areas.
- Let it dry completely.
- Repeat the process regularly.
- Note: You can rinse off with water if necessary.
- Alternatively, you can dilute rubbing alcohol and apply it.
2) Rubbing Alcohol Compress
This process helps to keep the affected area clean and dry. This process also helps to alleviate some of the itchiness.
- Clean the affected area and dry it thoroughly.
- Spread a layer of rubbing alcohol over it.
- Dust some baby powder over the alcohol and rub to a make paste.
- Continue the process until the affected area is completely covered.
- Now, wrap the area with gauze.
- Remove after few hours and wipe off with a cloth.
- Repeat the process 2 times a day.
3) Rubbing Alcohol Lotion
This process makes a lotion which can be applied on the poison ivy rash to get relief from the itchiness and blisters.
- Combine 1 tablespoon each of rubbing alcohol, calamine lotion, and hydrocortisone cream.
- Mix well until it forms a creamy paste.
- Apply it over the affected areas.
- Leave it to dry completely and rinse off with water.
- Pat dry thoroughly.
- Repeat the application 2 – 3 times a day.
Tidbits to Remember
- If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you can apply any alcohol to prevent the infection from spreading.
- If you go out for camping, keep a rubbing alcohol with you. Whenever you feel like exposed to poison oak plants, spray it over the skin and clothes to prevent the infection.
- Consult a doctor if you have severe poison oak rash along with headache, fever or shortness of breath.
- If you have developed a rash on genitals, eyes, mouth or throat then consult a doctor immediately.
- Don’t scratch, tough, scrub or pop the blisters and rashes.
- Learning to identify the plants helps to avoid contact with the plants.
- Never burn the poison oak, poison ivy or poison sumac plants. Inhaling the smoke of burning poison oak plants can cause respiratory problems.
- Clean and wash the clothes as soon as possible after they come in contact with the plants.
- If your skin is exposed to poison oak plants, wash the area completely.
- If none of the above-mentioned methods worked, try a different ingredient or consult a doctor.
Have you tried using rubbing alcohol for treating poison oak rash? Feel free to share your experience and suggestions in the comments section below.