How to Use Vinegar for Skin Exposure from Poison Oak

Poison Oak and Vinegar

Exposure to poison oak can lead to a skin condition known as plant dermatitis; the symptoms of which can develop between 24 hours to one week following contact. Poison Oak releases a chemical called urushiol, which is secreted throughout the plant, including roots, branches, and leaves. Contact with the oil from a poison oak plant can make the skin turn red, swollen, and irritated within hours.

After a day or two, tiny fluid-filled blisters in patches and streaks and pruritus begin to develop. Since it is a poisonous substance, anyone who is exposed to its toxins should be mindful of first aid management. Vinegar, a household condiment widely researched to have anti-infective properties, has been commonly indicated for the immediate treatment upon exposure to poison oak.

Does Vinegar Kill Poison Oak?

Poison oak can serve as a parasite to any landscape. The presence of the plant serves as a threat to the health and wellbeing of any nearby dwellers. Exposure to the poison oak can damage the dermal surface.

A simpler and a more effective way to treat symptoms of poison oak exposure is through the use of vinegar.

Undiluted and pure concentrations of vinegar have potent acidic properties that act as natural antitoxin. Derivatives such as apple cider vinegar have both antifungal and antibacterial properties against infections. This can curb pruritic reactions after exposure to poison oak. It can even dissipate the swelling and blister formation up to two days after contact to the plant’s colorless sap.

How to Use Vinegar for Poison Oak

A patient can treat the symptoms of poison oak irritation with the use of any of the following:

  • Topical Solution. Prepare an all natural vinegar mix by having ingredients such as ½ cup apple cider vinegar and ½ cup water ready. Mix the equal parts together and lightly dab on the affected area either by direct contact or with the use of a small towel. Do not try to break the blisters as not only will this be painful, but it can result to permanent marks.
  • Hot Bath Soak. Patients can submerge the affected areas on a basin filled with lukewarm water and 1 cup of baking soda. After soaking for around 5-10 minutes, dab a simple mixture of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar using a cotton ball. Once the area feels numb, salt is placed on top to get rid of water inside the blisters. Do not remove the salt for at least an hour. Rinse the area using cool running water.

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