Hives appear on the skin as blotchy red spots. They may be raised or flat, and they range in size from tiny pinprick-sized spots to large, irregular-shaped masses. They may even grow into each other and merge into areas of generalized redness and itching or pain. The rash caused by poison ivy can be either mild or severe, depending on the person’s sensitivity to it, but it also turns the skin red.
Unlike hives, however, a poison ivy rash is often confined to a straight line, which corresponds to the path of the plant’s leaves across the victim’s skin. Though poison ivy rashes begin with a hive-like appearance, over time they grow and form blisters that do not usually spread beyond their immediate area.
Living in the mountains and woods, my family used their share of the following remedies for poison ivy. After realizing I had touched the plant, a dose of Rhus tox always followed to prevent an outbreak. It really works!
Anacardium: Excessive itching and burning relieved by scalding hot water.
Calendula lotion or gel: Soothes itching, burning skin and protects against infection.
Ledum: When the itching is relieved by ice-cold water. Works as a preventative when taken before exposure.
Rhus tox: When scratching increases the discomfort and hot applications are soothing. May prevent an outbreak if taken upon exposure.
Urticaria is an allergic reaction characterized by raised, red patches or wheals (welts) causing intense itching and burning. The cause can be anything the person has a sensitivity to – cleaning and other chemicals, metals, insect bites, plants, and reactions to shellfish or other foods. Skin rashes can also be caused by emotional distress.
In rare cases, allergic swelling of the throat occurs, constituting a medical emergency. Call 911 and give Apis 30c every five minutes until help arrives. For recurring conditions, a visit to your homeopathic physician for a constitutional evaluation is recommended.
Apis: When there is swelling of the eyelids, nose and lips that is better from cold applications.
Arsenicum: For hives and eruptions associated with increased anxiety.
Pulsatilla: When the rash is aggravated by greasy, rich foods. The patient is moody and cries easily.
Rhus tox: When the rash burns and itches intensely and feels better from scalding hot water.
Urtica urens: For itching, burning skin blotches caused by eating shellfish or exposure to poisonous plants.
Sulphur: When the skin is red, itching, swollen, and aggravated by heat and bathing. This particular remedy can make the situation worse before it gets better, so don’t take too frequently.
Also consider the homeopathic remedy, Carbolic acid. If symptoms persist, see your health care practitioner.