How to Use Baking Soda for Poison Oak

How to Use Baking Soda for Poison OakPoison Oak or Poison Ivy is a plant commonly found in many parts of the United States. Nearly half of the population in the United States develops allergy or rash when exposed to poison oak. As per Familydoctor.org, the oil urushiol which is present in the poison ivy leaves can cause a rash or allergic reaction.

The symptoms of poison oak develop after 2 days of the exposure to the plant. Even the smoke released due to the burning of poison oak plants can cause allergies.

Redness, itching, swelling and blisters are some of the symptoms of poison oak. The symptoms may be severe depending on the exposure and time spent with the items exposed to urushiol.

The rashes of poison oak can spread vigorously during the initial three days especially when you scratch the affected areas. Though poison oak is a very mild condition, if left untreated it can lead to severe suffering.

There are many over the counter treatments for poison oak. But you can always resort to home remedies to treat the poison oak allergy.

Baking soda is considered one of the effective home remedies for poison oak. Let’s learn more about it…

Is Baking Soda Good for Poison Oak or Poison Ivy?

  • The alkalinity of baking soda draws out the toxins from the blisters.
  • It helps in speeding up the process.

How to Use Baking Soda for Poison Oak?

There are different ways of treating poison oak. Choose one method among them and try it regularly.

1) Baking Soda

The caustic effect of baking soda, when combined with water, helps in speeding up the recovery. This method is helpful in treating the blisters caused by the ivy rash.

Process 1:

  • Combine 3 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon water.
  • Apply the paste on the affected areas.
  • Leave it to dry completely and flake off.
  • Repeat as often as necessary.

Process 2: Baking Soda Compress

If the blisters are oozing out liquid then try this remedy.

  • Combine 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 liter of water.
  • Take few sterile gauze pads and dip them in the solution.
  • Cover the blisters with these wet gauze pads.
  • Remove them after 10 minutes.
  • Repeat the process 4 times a day.

Process 3: Baking Soda Bath

  • Fill your bathtub with water and add 1 cup of baking soda.
  • Soak in it for 20 minutes and bath normally.
  • Repeat 2 times a day.
  • For extra benefits, you can add Epsom salts to the water.

2) Baking Soda with Vinegar

The combination of baking soda and apple cider vinegar speeds up the healing process and provides relief from irritation and itching. Distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used for this process.

  • Combine 3 teaspoons of baking soda and enough amounts of vinegar to make a thick paste.
  • Wet the affected areas and gently scrub the mixture on them.
  • After scrubbing for few minutes, rinse off with water.
  • Pat yourself dry after the shower and apply vinegar on the affected areas.
  • Let it dry completely.
  • Repeat the process daily for few days until the rash is cleared.

Note: You may feel burning sensation when vinegar is applied but don’t worry it will reduce in some time.

3) Baking Soda with Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains avenanthramide and phenols which have anti-inflammatory properties. This helps to heal the itchiness, pain and other discomforts caused by poison ivy. Oatmeal also balances the pH levels of the skin.

  • Cook a small amount of oatmeal and let it cool down.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda into it and stir well.
  • Apply the mixture to the affected areas.
  • Leave it for 20 minutes and rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process 2 times a day.

4) Baking Soda with Coffee

This process ensures the poison flows out like water. It also helps in relieving the itching and irritation.

  • Brew some coffee and let it cool down.
  • Combine 1/2 cup of baking soda and coffee to make a thick paste.
  • Apply the paste on the affected areas.
  • Let it dry completely and rinse off with water.
  • Repeat the process 2 times a day.

Tips and Precautions:

  • Never pop up the blisters as they protect you from the spreading of infection. If the blisters are popped up, the infection will spread.
  • When you are going into the woods, make sure to wear long sleeves and cover most of your skin.
  • Remove and wash the clothes as soon as possible once it comes in contact with poison oak plant.
  • Avoid touching the rash or blisters caused by poison oak as you can spread the infection. Wash your hands immediately.
  • Don’t scratch or rub the rash especially with bare hands.
  • Consult a doctor when
    • You are experiencing shortness of breath.
    • If the rash has spread to eyes, nose, genitals, throat or mouth.
    • If you have inhaled the smoke of burning poison oak.
    • If you have severe blisters, redness, and swelling.
  • Learn to identify the plants and avoid contact with them.
  • Keep your pets away from running through woods so that urushiol doesn’t get stick to the thick fur which you may touch later.
  • Wear protective clothing like gloves while removing these plants.
  • Don’t burn the poison ivy as its smoke can also cause allergy and rashes.
  • Clean and wash the contaminated clothes and items.
  • Wash the exposed skin with water immediately.
  • If the above-mentioned remedies didn’t work for you then please consult a doctor immediately.

Did you find this article helpful? Do you have any other remedy that works better than mentioned the above? Share your experience and suggestions in the comments section below.

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