People are sometimes surprised that they can go decades without developing a skin reaction to poison ivy. Then one day out of the blue they develop red, itchy blisters after exposure to this nasty plant. That is exactly what happened to this reader:
Q. I just got poison ivy for the first time in my life. I found what you wrote about the banana peel remedy and gave it a try. I will attest to the fact that, for me, it works much better than hydrocortisone cream.
A. The first step for treating poison ivy is to wash the skin as soon as possible after exposure. Even using a hand sanitizer or alcohol wipe can help. Other people swear by old-fashioned Fels-Naptha soap, though experts say any soap will work. Special products such as Zanfel or Tecnu are also useful.
What Causes the Itch of Poison Ivy?
The resin from poison ivy is called urushiol. Once this invisible compound firmly attaches to your skin it can cause redness, itching, blistering and oozing. For some, the misery can last for many days or even weeks.
That is why it is essential to wash this oily resin off the skin ASAP! If you don’t have Tecnu on hand you could also try Dawn dishwashing detergent. The key to success is to use a washcloth with the Tecnu, Dawn or soap to remove the resin and then rinse thoroughly.
The Banana Peel Remedy:
Other readers have used banana peel for poison ivy, as Fay did:
“As a Girl Scout 40 years ago, I tried an experiment with banana peel on one spot of poison ivy and calamine lotion on the other spot. The spot where I applied banana peel 3 to 5 times a day healed three days sooner. I am a believer.”
Nique in North Carolina added this:
“I am very allergic to both poison ivy and poison oak. When I read about this treatment, I tried it at around 8:00 this morning after three days of painful burning and itching around my wrists.
” Since my encounter with a dried poison oak vine last Thursday I had tried many different topical treatments. It’s now 5:30 pm and my wrist is still cool, comfortable and itch free!!! The one thing I did do before using the banana peel was to wash my wrist good with warm salt water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
“I have contacted several of my fellow gardening friends to let them know about the wonderful banana peel remedy.”
BAS offers this testimonial:
“You use the inside part of the banana peel. The riper the banana, the better. I knew a lady who had poison ivy all over her arms and neck. She was miserable and banana peel was the only thing she tried that gave her relief.”
Share your own poison ivy remedy below in the comment section and do let us know if the banana peel remedy works for you.