Just Coco for Poison Ivy

Recently a customer contacted me asking if any Just Coco products could help soothe a bad reaction to poison ivy.  First, a little about poison ivy from our friends at the Mayo Clinic


Poison ivy rash is caused by an oily resin called urushiol — found in the leaves, stems and roots of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.  Urushiol is very sticky, so it easily attaches to your skin, clothing, tools, equipment or pet’s fur.  You can get a poison ivy reaction from:

  • Direct touch.  If you directly touch the leaves, stem, roots or berries of the plant, you may have a reaction.
  • Touching contaminated objects.  If you walk through some poison ivy and then later touch your shoes, you may get some urushiol on your hands, which you may then transfer to your face by touching or rubbing.  If the contaminated object isn’t cleaned, the urushiol on it can still cause a skin reaction years later.
  • Inhaling smoke from the burning plants.  Even the smoke from burning poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac contains the oil and can irritate or harm your nasal passages or lungs.


Signs and symptoms of a poison ivy rash include redness, itching, swelling and blisters.  Often, the rash looks like a straight line because of the way the plant brushes against the skin.  But if you come into contact with a piece of clothing or pet fur that has urushiol on it, the rash may be more spread out.  The reaction usually develops 12 to 48 hours after exposure and typically lasts two or three weeks.   A poison ivy rash itself isn’t contagious.  Blister fluid doesn’t contain urushiol and won’t spread the rash.  In addition, you can’t get poison ivy from another person unless you’ve had contact with urushiol that’s still on that person or on his or her clothing.



Rash and blisters after contact with poison ivy.  Photo- Hardin MD


I advised the Just Coco customer to apply a Just Coco Body Oil containing lavender, such as our 1oz jar of Lavender Aromatherapy Essentials or the 2oz jar of Baby Me which also contains 2 types of skin calming chamomile.  Lavender is one of the gentlest essential oils for any age group and skin type.  The virgin coconut oil blended with pure lavender essential oil in these body oils will moisturize skin that is dry and irritated from itching as well as help reduce redness and swelling.  Over time the rash will go away and Just Coco can bring comfort during this healing process.


Here’s what our customer had to say

I had a Doctor look at rash on my legs.  When I got home I applied Just Coco Lavender Essentials and a few hours later the color had gone from nasty red/maroon to light pink.  I’m not kidding you!  I will give testimony that Just Coco does help to sooth and heal up poison ivy.


Here are a 3 more ways Just Coco’s virgin coconut oil can help ease the irritation of contact dermatitis from poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac:


  1. Mix warm virgin coconut oil and gently massage into the affected area 2-3 times daily.
  2. Mix equal parts warm virgin coconut oil and Epsom salt  and lightly rub on affected area.
  3. If you want steady, intense coconut oil therapy you can create a virgin coconut oil bandage.  This can be especially effective overnight.  You’ll need gauze bandage wrap, plastic wrap and cotton athletic tape.  Cut a piece of gauze 2-3 times the affected area of skin so it will be thoroughly covered and the gauze can be folded 2-3 times.  The plastic wrap should be bigger than the gauze.  Rub some warm virgin coconut oil onto your skin.  Apply the folded gauze to the oiled skin and gently pat into place.  Wipe off any excess coconut oil around the affected area to allow for the tape to stick.  Lay the plastic wrap over the gauze layer.  Secure the gauze and plastic wrap with the cotton athletic tape.  The plastic wrap layer prevents the coconut oil from staining clothing and other fabrics.  Change your bandage every 2-3 hours.