Have you ever had a skin irritation? They can be very annoying because they are either irritated by clothing, exposed to the air, or needing to be bandaged. Also irritated skin is usually something that others notice and comment on, so you are consistently reminded that you have it. Earlier this summer I became infected with poison ivy. I had only had it one other time in my life. Unfortunately this time I had a few bug bites on my legs as well as a scratch. The oil from the poison ivy plant was able to get into my blood stream; the resulting rash was very painful and itchy.
After several days of using over the counter remedies as well as homeopathic cures I went to the doctor. She gave me a steroid shot and suggested that I continue with what ever creams or ointments gave me the most relieve. Due to the extent of the rash she told me that the scars may take as long as five months to heal. When I was telling this to my mother she reminded me of the benefits of aloe vera. This is a plant that she always had in the house when we were growing up. My grandmother was a firm believer in the benefits of aloe vera. This plant is used in many lotions or by itself to eliminate scars and to sooth the skin. My mother used the leaves of this plant to keep my brother’s hand from scaring after a burn. She would break off the leaves and squeeze out the liquid that was inside and rub this directly onto the burned area. The burn that he had on his hand was quite severe, however it was hardly noticeable once mom began using the plant on it.
Once my mother reminded me about the benefits of the aloe vera plant I went to a local nursery and bought one. The plant I bought was quite large and very healthy looking. I explained to the woman why I was buying the plant. The owner of the nursery over heard my conversation. She asked me if all the pus had come out of the poison ivy. She looked at my legs and suggested that I place the insides of banana peels on them to draw out all the pus. Once this was done I should mix the aloe with vitamin E and rub it on the skin. I was amazed at how quickly the banana peel helped the rash area to dry up and the aloe and vitamin E were very soothing to the area. It took a month to clear this up, but I have no marks of any kind in the area where I had the poison ivy.