How To Treat Poison Oak Rashes With Baking Soda

Poison oak or poison ivy is a plant commonly found in many regions of the United States. When people are exposed to the plant, they usually develop a severe allergy or rash. The oil urushiol, which is present in poison oak leaves, is what causes these allergic reactions and rashes. The symptoms of a poison oak allergy usually appear 24 to 48 hours of exposure to the plant and the severity of the symptoms depend on the extent and duration of exposure to the plant. At first, you will experience mild stinging and itching and minor skin irritation, but as time progresses, rashes break out and the itching gets worse. Soon small bumps will start forming on your skin, which will eventually turn into blisters. After liquid oozes out from the blisters, the skin will dry up and will form a crust.

Poison oak rashes usually appear around your neck, wrists, and ankles, when your skin is thinner, but it may spread to other parts of your body within the initial 3 days when you scratch the affected areas. The symptoms of the allergy peaks about a week after the exposure and it can last up to 12 days, and in rare cases, it can last up to a month. Though there are over-the-counter treatments available for poison oak allergies, it is safer to use home remedies. Baking soda is considered one of the most effective treatments as its alkalinity draws out the toxins from the blisters, and it speeds up the healing process. Here are a few ways you can use baking soda for poison oak allergies.

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1. Baking Soda Paste And Compress

A simple way to use baking soda is by adding water and making a paste. Apply the paste on the affected areas, let it dry completely, and flake off. You can repeat the procedure as often as necessary. If the blisters on your skin are already oozing out, you can use a baking soda compress.

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How To: 

Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to 1 liter of water.

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Soak a few sterilized gauze pads in the solution.

Cover the blisters with the wet gauze pads.

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Remove after 10 minutes.

Repeat the procedure 4 times a day.

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2. Baking Soda And Oatmeal

Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties because it contains avenanthramide and phenols. It relieves the itch and pain caused by poison oak and balances the pH level of your skin.

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How To:

Cook 2 tablespoons of oatmeal in water and let it cool down.

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Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda into the oatmeal and stir well.

Apply the mixture generously on the affected areas.

Rinse it off with water after 20 minutes.

Repeat the procedure 2 to 3 times a day.

3. Baking Soda And Vinegar

A combination of baking soda and vinegar provides you relief from itching and irritation and helps speed up the healing process. You can either use raw, organic apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar for the process.

How To:

Add vinegar to 3 tablespoons of baking soda and make a paste.

Gently scrub the affected areas with the paste for a few minutes.

Rinse it off with water and pat dry using a clean, soft towel.

Apply vinegar on the affected areas and let it dry completely.

Repeat the procedure daily until the rashes clear.

If you feel a burning sensation when you apply vinegar, you can dilute it with water. The burning sensation is nothing to worry about as it will reduce in some time.

4. Baking Soda And Coffee

Using baking soda with coffee relieves itching and irritation and draws the toxins out from your skin.

How To:

Brew some coffee in water and let it cool down.

Add half a cup of baking soda to it and make a thick paste.

Apply the paste on the affected areas and let it dry.

Rinse it off with water.

Repeat the procedure 2 to 3 times a day.

Refrain from scratching the rashes vigorously and avoid popping blisters as it may lead to secondary infections. And, do not burn poison oak as even the fumes cause allergies. Always cover your skin if you are venturing out into the woods and consult a doctor if you experience shortness of breath and if the rashes spread to your eyes, nose, throat, mouth, or genitals.