Hello everyone! This past week has been a tough one. Not only is it finals week, I've had a pretty bad case of poison ivy that caused my eyes to swell up. Fortunately, they are almost back to normal and I wanted to share some miraculous ways in which I healed them!
I can't even explain how horrible my ongoing battle with poison ivy has been throughout my life. Let's just say, I'm highly allergic and have suffered many times because of this evil plant. This time around was not my worst case, but it was the first time my eyes suffered the rash. They swelled up horribly (I wish I took a picture). It freaked me out because 1. I have no idea how I came into contact with it because I'm always extra careful outdoors and 2. Research told me that my eye area would be swollen for a couple weeks.
It was difficult finding methods to treat poison ivy around the eyes because this is such a delicate area, that you need a gentle method to take care of business. Some sources told me to immediately see a doctor, but being the rebel that I am, that wasn't going to happen. I resorted to natural remedies that I gathered from my personal experience with poison ivy and my mother's sacred advice. Here are a few of the miracle workers.
Swimming in a pool
Or in any kind of water, but pools are optimal since they generally contain chlorine. After a day of trekking in the forest, my brothers and I would jump in our pool to dry out any poison ivy oil, technically called urushiol. The chlorine helps eliminate the urushiol before it can penetrate the skin. This past week, I've been doing much swimming, which has been soothing for the rash (it covers many areas on my body, other than my eyes). I typically moisturize my skin beforehand and shower after. Although chlorine is a chemical, it's only a temporary treatment, so I'm not entirely worried about harming my skin.
Apple cider vinegar
I gently patted this over my swollen eyes, making sure not to get it in my eye. I also used it on other problem areas. It burned for a couple seconds and then the itching felt better. This extracts the oils, which speeds up the healing process a great deal. The skin will feel a bit dry after this, but it really does show results.
This is a more intense treatment, so I only used it once. I mixed a little with water and patted it around my eyes very gently. It immediately started burning, so I waited a few minutes and rinsed it off. Like the apple cider vinegar, it extracts the oils that are causing it to itch and swell. Do not mix the two, otherwise it will cause a chemical reaction. This technique is also great for pimples!
This treatment soothes the itching caused by the urushiol. I recommend putting about two cups of oatmeal in a stocking and brewing it in the bathtub (this way it won't clog the drain). The bath is relaxing and will help relieve the scratching. This is good for when the rash is extremely severe.
Last, but certainly not least is using cucumber. Since I had the rash most severely around my eyes, I rubbed a slice of cucumber on them for a few minutes and then laid slices on my eyes for ten to twenty minutes. It was so relieving and really helped the swelling go down. This, of course, can be used for other affected areas and works just as well.
After a few days, all the swelling and redness around my eyes went away, including the rash itself. There are a few dry patches remaining that can easily be taken care of, but the itching is gone. Other areas on my body are mostly healed and I'm so thankful. I'll have to wash any clothes and makeup tools that are at risk of spreading the oil. Refraining from wearing makeup was also important to healing my poison ivy, as well as cleansing more frequently. Hope this was helpful!