How to Minimize Your Contact With Poison Ivy

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay – JamesDeMars

Some people don’t necessarily need direct contact with a poison ivy plant itself to develop it.  My mother happens to be one of those people.  Once she was just tending her small garden, not among bushes or wild foliage when it later struck.  Apparently poison ivy’s resin managed to carry in the wind or weather to transfer itself to whatever she was touching among her plants. If you want some tips to avoid this itchy rash, let me share some helpful advice to keep you from this horrible condition.

Ever since that episode, we always made it a habit to immediately wash exposed skin with Fels-Napa, the laundry soap bar that you also can use to treat stains.  In addition, we also wash all gardening tools afterwards with a soap solution as an extra safety precaution. You may also want to try my nontoxic, homemade poison ivy killer recipe.

Before throwing all your clothes to the laundry on your way to the shower, you also might want to take another preventive measure.  Try wiping yourself off with some rubbing alcohol first and then get your bath or shower.

If you have a cat or dog that likes to roam or stays outdoors, then you might want to give them a bath. Though your pet won’t develop this rash due to their protective coats, they can carry that plant’s resin on themselves for you to pick up when you pet them.

Before you attempt giving your pet a bath, remember protecting yourself first by wearing gloves and a barrier cream with bentoquatum for the rest of your arms or legs that may be exposed.  After all, animals don’t particularly enjoy baths and will splash water that could contain that poison ivy’s urushiol oil on you.

In case, you don’t have a barrier cream on hand, you want to try wearing long pants and longer sleeves while bathing your pet.  Sure, you will be soaked by the time that you finish, but it will provide better protection than nothing.

You can use your pet shampoo or even dish detergent that cuts grease like Dawn to lather them up. Don’t neglect their collar and lease by cleaning those thoroughly since that urushiol could also be there as well. Rinse them several times to make sure that soap and remaining traces of oil are out of those coats.

If you have a cat, prepare for battle.  This is not a chore for one person so be sure to have an extra set of hands to help with the bath.

Despite everything, there is always a chance that you could still develop that poison ivy rash.  Besides a drying agent like calamine lotion, witch hazel or zinc oxide, you could wet Epsom salts and apply to the rash or aloe vera gel.  Hopefully, this will never happen.  Nonetheless, if it does then you’ll probably have a less severe case since you got some of that poison ivy off.


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