Nearly 50 million Americans are affected every year by poison ivy(1). The allergic reaction to poison ivy causes poison ivy rash. Poison ivy is a three-leaf plant, which is very common in the United States. Urushiol is the oil responsible for the outbreak and is located in ivy sap.
When humans or animals get into contact with this, they develop a rash immediately or within 72 hours, and cause redness, itchiness, swelling, and blisters. This depends on the level of contact a person receives with the plant. This can also happen when personal items like clothing get exposed to the plant.
Using ACV for medicinal purposes isn’t something new. People have been using apple cider vinegar to heal wounds and fight infections for more than 2000 years now(2). Topical application of apple cider vinegar for poison ivy can help to reduce itching to a great extent. You can take it orally. It is the best home remedy to dry up urushiol.
- Did you know that poison ivy changes its colour with seasons?
- It takes approximately 36 apples to make 1 gallon of apple cider vinegar!
Apple Cider Vinegar for Poison Ivy Rash
Even though there isn’t any specific research or study done on ACV for poison ivy, anecdotes claim that it is an excellent remedy. It provides relief and speeds up the healing process.
It is comparatively easy to treat the symptoms of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac with apple cider vinegar.
[Read: Natural Treatments for Poison Ivy]
Here’s How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Poison Ivy
If you get exposed to poison ivy, you must wash your skin immediately to remove the oil. Use soap and cold or lukewarm water for this. Hot water can worsen your irritation. Apple cider vinegar application can be made in three ways.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion
This method helps to tighten the body tissues and relieve the irritated skin.
- Take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of water.
- Now, soak a cotton ball or clean cloth in the solution.
- With the soaked cotton ball, dab on the affected area.
Repeat this for at least three to four times a day.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Compress
This method will instantly soothe the irritated skin.
- For this, you need to combine equal portions of cold water and apple cider vinegar.
- Apply this on the rash for 10 to 15 minutes using a clean cloth or cotton ball.
Use washed and sterilized cloth for this purpose. Repeat this process a handful of times every day until you see improvement.
3. ACV Spray
This method is a portable option.
- For this spray, you need to mix equal portions of apple cider vinegar and water.
- Fill a spray bottle with this solution and sprinkle on the outbreak several times a day.
[Read: Baking Soda for Poison Ivy Rash]
4. Apple Cider Vinegar + Bentonite Clay
This method soothes the rashes caused by poison ivy.
- Take equal portions of apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay.
- Make it a smooth paste.
- Now, apply the mixture on the affected area.
Reapplying apple cider vinegar to avoid outbreaks.
If you find other symptoms like fever, rashes spreading to other areas, like genitals, etc., consult your doctor immediately. Also, if you do not see any difference after one week or you observe any aggravation of symptoms, it calls for medical attention.
[Read: Treat Poison Ivy with Bleach]
Precautions and Side Effects
As apple cider vinegar is acidic, it may cause chemical burns and irritation. Do a patch test on a small area of the skin, when you are using it for the first time. You must stop using it if you develop a reaction. Initially, it provides you only temporary relief. You must keep reapplying it to get long-lasting benefits.
Here’s How You Can Prevent Poison Ivy Rash
Do not expose your skin when you are gardening. Wear full pants, shirt, and gloves. Though Urushiol can penetrate through latex or gardening gloves, this may be sufficient to prevent rashes in most of the people.
Apple cider vinegar for poison ivy is the best home remedy one can ever find. With its usage, the outbreak should generally go away after one-to-three weeks. However, the comfort it provides is temporary, so you must keep on reapplying it to see significant improvement.
You need to test apple cider vinegar in a small portion of your skin to check if you have irritation against it. Kindly consult your doctor if your rash does not go away or it worsens.
[Read: Home Remedies for Poison Ivy]
1. Can Pregnant Women Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Poison Ivy?
Since you are using it for application, pregnant women can use it. But you should never consume apple cider vinegar as it could have some adverse effects on the fetus. If you are having any other complications, please contact a doctor immediately.
2. Can Diabetic Patients Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Treat Poison Ivy?
Yes, diabetic patients can use apple cider vinegar. But it is better to check for the sensitivity. Apply in a small area and wait for some time. If you do not find any rash, you can continue using it. Never take it orally without consulting doctor as it can show effects if it interacts with your medication.
3. Is Apple Cider Vinegar Consumption a Must to Cure Rashes?
Application of apple cider vinegar on the outbreak is necessary, but not compulsion.