Leaves of three, let it be — the ominous summer saying warning us all to steer clear of poison ivy. But even the most vigilant eye can miss it. While a poison ivy rash eventually clears up on its own, you're sure to want to treat the itch until then. 

And with June being National Camping Month, more time spent out in the wild means more opportunity to spot those leaves of three. 

Here's how to treat a poison ivy rash if you come into contact with this sinister plant. 

1. Rubbing alcohol 

Urushiol, an oil found on poison ivy, is what causes the rash and the itch. If you come into contact with poison ivy, wipe the skin with rubbing alcohol within 10 minutes to remove the urushiol. Carry it with you while hiking or camping for this purpose. 

2. Take a shower

After wiping the skin with rubbing alcohol, take a thorough shower with plain soap and lukewarm water to remove any remaining oils. Doing so within an hour of exposure can help reduce the spread and severity of a poison ivy rash. 

3. Medicine 

If the itch is getting unbearable, you can turn to topical treatments like hydrocortisone creams and calamine lotion or oral antihistamines like Benadryl. Topical antihistamines should be avoided though, as it can make the itching worse. 

4. Add something to the bath

Oatmeal or a cup of baking soda added to a lukewarm bath can help relieve itching. Plus, you probably already have those in your pantry. 

5. A cool or wet compress 

Apply a cool compress to the rash for up to half an hour. You can do this multiple times a day. 

6. Don't scratch

Probably the number one rule. Scratching can cause blisters to burst or cause infection. You could also have traces of urushiol under your nails, which can worsen the itching. 

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