How to Treat a Bull Nettle Rash

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Bull nettles can cause itching, burning and swelling on the skin.
Bull nettles can cause itching, burning and swelling on the skin. (Image: Nettles image by Sheila Button from Fotolia.com)

Bull nettles, also known as stinging nettles, grow in nitrogen-rich soil in forests, parks and other areas throughout the world. Between the bull nettle's green leaves and round pink flowers are tiny threads that contain histamine and other chemicals, including folic acid. These chemicals can cause mild to severe irritation of the skin. Symptoms include itching, burning and swelling. A bull nettle rash may take several days to heal and may cause discomfort.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Jewelweed

Inspect the area and remove any bull nettle threads still on the skin. Place a small piece of masking or duct tape over the area and gently remove to catch nettle threads.

Thoroughly clean the area using warm water. Pat dry with a soft cloth.

Mix baking soda and water to make a paste. Cover the area with paste. Leave the paste on the area for up to 30 minutes. Remove using warm water. Repeat three times a day or as needed to reduce itching and burning until the rash heals.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rub jewelweed leaves on the area to reduce itching and burning from bull nettle rash.
  • Seek medical attention if large areas of your body develop a rash as you may need medication to reduce itching, burning and swelling.

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