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Hot Water Stops Poison Ivy Itching

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Q. I had poison ivy all over my leg and nothing I tried for it seemed to help much. It may sound crazy, but I noticed that when I got in a hot shower, the hot water felt good on the rash, kind of like I was scratching it.

I found that after putting hot water on it, the poison ivy didn't itch for a while. So I turned up the heat as hot as I could stand it and held it there as long as I could stand. When I got out, it didn't itch anymore.

A. Hot water (hot enough to be uncomfortable but not so hot as to burn) can ease itching for hours. It works for poison ivy and insect bites, but not hives. Another reader shared this experience:

"Your hot water remedy for mosquito bites was amazing! I tried all sorts of anti-itch creams, and none worked as well as a wet towel, 30 seconds in the microwave, and a minute on the bites. I wish I knew about this a long time ago."

Another reader found a different surprising remedy for poison ivy itching: "I heard about milk of magnesia last week on the radio program, just as I was having a bad breakout of poison ivy on my legs. As I am very allergic to poison ivy and calamine lotion doesn't work very well, I was curious to give it a try. Result, it relieved the itching and quickly dried up the oozing sections."

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Thank you Terry and Joe! Several years ago now while moving I decided to pull up some iris bulbs from the garden to take with me. Little did I know that I had gotten into poison ivy. I was wearing overalls so as I used the bathroom I pulled the overalls up and down my body covering myself with poison ivy! In acute desperation (even after going to the doctor and getting a prescription for the itching) in the middle of the night (itching so acute it was keeping me from sleeping!) I started racking my brain (to keep me from going crazy) I remembered a book by the you guys that I had.

I looked up the hot water poison ivy remedy. I had to use hot towels from the microwave to cover both of my legs and arms (the hot shower wasn't hot enough) but I got blessed relief and was able to finally get some sleep! The hot towels relieved the itching for exactly 4 hours just as the Graedons said it would. Now I am very sensitive to poison ivy but have no worries if I accidentally get a little on me. Thanks Terry and Joe I am now a true believer and your books are my first line of defense for issues or problems. Thanks for all of the great work you guys do!

Colloidal oatmeal baths will relieve itching very well. I used it on my kids when they had chicken pox, sunburn, diaper rash, etc. If the itching is unrelenting, doctors will prescribe steroids usually on a sliding scale basis.

The last time I had poison ivy, a pharmacist recommended an ointment called "Zanfel", saying that it was the only one sold "over the counter" that would really stop the itching. It worked! It is expensive ($35 for a 1-oz. tube) but, for me, the immediate and permanent relief from itching was well worth it.

I'd always heard that this works, but actually causes the reaction to worsen, as the hot water speeds up the biochemical response in the skin to prolong and worsen the underlying reaction, resulting in immediate relief, but worse outcome overall. Just the same as scratching provides immediate relief, but worsens the rash.

I have found that a hair drier does the same thing w/o the need to get wet.

I learned of the hot water remedy years ago. It worked for me, stopped itching for a few hours, then repeated hot water treatment. I believe poison ivy cleared up more quickly with this treatment.

Several years ago I had poison ivy on my face so bad that fluid was dripping off my face. I had heard vitamin E might help so I punctured a Vitamin E gel cap and patted that liquid over my face. I got relief right away and by the next morning all sign of the poison ivy was gone.

The hot shower provides amazing relief. Also, the pleasure/sensation on impact is beyond words.

Hot water on poison ivy is a miracle worker Stops itching up to six hours. I ran the water is hot as possible directly on the poison ivy as long as I can stand.

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