We live in Northern Michigan and spend much of our summer on the beaches of Lake Michigan. Some of our favorite beaches have poison ivy lining the trails. Although we have learned to avoid it (my oldest daughter is very susceptible), we still keep remedies on hand if a rash develops and avoid using any cortisone creams or other medications. In addition to poison ivy, Homeopathy is very effective with poison oak, poison sumac, hives, allergic reactions on the skin and more.
Below are some of the most commonly used remedies for rashes. As when using Homeopathy for other ailments, choose the remedy that most closely resembles the symptoms you are experiencing for the greatest and most rapid result.
Anacardium: This remedy is generally most effective with rashes that come from poison Oak. There will be great itching and swelling. Fluid-filled blisters may also be present. The itching will be worse with heat or if hot water is applied.
Apis: This is the first remedy we think of when hives are present. Rash or hives will be red and swollen. They may or may not itch, but there is usually a burning or a stinging pain. The discomfort of the rash is relieved by a cold compress. My youngest daughter will develop hives if she accidentally consumes a tree nut. This remedy has been our lifesaver. In addition, this remedy is made from the honey bee, which also makes it a wonderful remedy for bee, wasp or yellow jacket stings.
Belladonna: This is generally not the first remedy I reach for when it comes to rashes, however if the rash comes on very fast and is very hot with a throbbing pain, I would consider this remedy. A fever may also be present.
Bryonia: A Bryonia rash would be hot, dry and lumpy. The discomfort would be worse from movement, pressure and touch. Someone requiring this remedy may want to lie completely still and not move.
Graphites: This remedy is indicated when the rash is oozing with a thick, sticky, golden fluid that eventually becomes hardened and crusty. The itch will be worse at night.
Ledum: This is the first remedy I think of for bug bites, especially if a person is sensitive to mosquito bites and ends up with large welts around the sting site. Like this bug bite reaction, the rash will be very swollen and puffy. It will also be relieved by cold applications.
Natrum Muraticum: This remedy is usually considered for more chronic rashes, however, if a rash develops that is worse from the sun and from physical excursion, this may be a remedy to consider. The rash itself will be dry and flaky. Many rashes requiring this remedy will occur around the hair-line or at the bends of the knees or elbows.
Rhus Tox: This is the first remedy to consider in cases of poison ivy, as it is made from this very plant. The rash may burn and will itch intensely. The rash will feel better with heat or by running the rash under hot water. In some cases the heat will make the itch worse while it is applied but, once removed, the itching will cease. In some instances, those with a rash requiring Rhus Tox will becoming very restless and will not be able to sit still.
Sepia: A rash requiring this remedy will be very dry and scaly with a red or brownish tint. Getting too warm under the covers or under clothing will make the itching of this rash worse, as will sweating.
Sulphur: A rash needing sulphur will be red, irritated, burning and itchy. Heat will aggravate it, as will washing. This is the first remedy to think of for rashes caused by clothing irritation, especially if the rash develops from wool. Itching will be almost unbearable but will make the rash worse and can cause it to spread. The rash itself can be either dry and scaly or moist and weepy.
Urtica Urens: This is the first remedy to consider when faced with a rash that resembles a nettle rash (It is made from the stinging nettle plant). The eruptions will sting and burn greatly. Scratching will make the rash worse, as will applying a cold compress or cold water. If a rash develops during heat stroke or overheating, this is also a remedy to consider.
The potency to use for the rashes listed above range from 6C – 30C. I generally go with 30C unless I don’t have any on hand. Each remedy can be taken 3 – 6 times per day, depending on the need. As a general rule, the remedy can be taken every one – two hours. If no improvement is seen after a couple of doses, another remedy may be needed. For more immediate cases, such as the times when my daughter has accidentally eaten a tree nut and the reaction is more imminent, I will increase the time frame to every 15 minutes until an improvement is seen. Choosing the right potency and frequency can be tricky. If you ever have any questions or concerns about which remedy, potency or frequency to use, consult a certified homeopath.
If the rash is due to a severe allergic reaction seek emergency medical attention.
**We do not diagnose or treat disease. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only. If you require a diagnosis or if your situation is emergent and life-threatening please consult a licensed medical doctor.