Home Remedies for Poison Ivy

When you come in contact with this plant, you want to reduce the inflammation and painful itch. This guide is about home remedies for poison oak.

Home Remedies for Poison Ivy
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Does anyone know of some homemade cures for poison ivy?

Sandy from Bluff City, TN

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If you're lucky enough to live by the ocean, a quick dip will stop the spread and clear it up in a day or so. If not, strong lye soap works well.

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I had it all over my arms and ankles. I tried alcohol, aloe, witch hazel, dish soap, lemon, etc.! No relief, the itch was killing me. It would wake me up in the middle of the night!

Finally, what finally dried it up after a week is a spray called Tecnu. It's at Walgreens or CVS. It is awesome. It cures the itch, cools the area and dried it up. It cost me $14.00 at CVS. Just thought I would share!

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    What can I do, short of going to my doctor, to treat poison ivy, especially the itch? I've had it before, but it's never have been this itchy!

    Thankz a million in advance.

    By AL from Pittsburgh, PA

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    I use hot water. I got it on my hands one year and found a site on the web that recommended hot water to ease the itch. I hold my hand under the faucet, running hot water, (not burning hot, of course). The hot water releases the histamines that cause the itching. The itching will stop until the histamines build up again... usually in a few hours, then I do it again.

    This wouldn't be practical for some areas on the body but worked great for me on my hands,

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    Is there a good cream for the itch from poison ivy? I've had the bad experience of getting poison ivy again, this is the second year. I've never had it before until last year and this year. I've gone to the doctor and was prescribed some pills and cream for the itch and rash.

    It's been over a month and I still have the rash. It's slowly going away. My question is: There is an over the counter cream called Zanfel that is sold at Walgreens in a little tube for over $35.00 that is suppose to stop the itch within 30 seconds and start clearing up the rash by the second day! Has anyone ever tried this cream and does it really work? Is it worth the money for such a small amount? I have relatives that swear that it works great, but I reviewed it and found others that would not buy the stuff and said it didn't work at all. Should I buy this or not? Is there a generic brand that would work better and cheaper? Any help would be great. Thanks.

    By Linda from Brighton, MI

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    The old school way: Fals Naptha soap

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    Is there a treatment for poison ivy in a pill form? I have tried all the over the counter medicines to stop the itch, etc., but nothing seems to help. Outside of going to a doctor does anyone know if there anything else I can take?

    By Bren

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    Rub a green tomato on it several times a day and it should clear it right up after a day or too.

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    Any new ideas on treating poison ivy? My arms started with the rash, itch three days ago and I am about to go crazy. Not to mention that it looks so gross!

    Jan from South Carolina

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    I don't know if this will work once you are in heavy break out mode but, it works for me when I do this just a few hours after contact and welts appear.

    1) Get out of your contaminated clothes.

    2) Apply liquid dish soap (Dawn) to area. No water. Rub in, and then wash off - don't dry.

    3) Apply Baking Soda to the wet area liberally. leave on a minute or two. It will itch a little.

    4) Rinse baking soda off with vinegar. (yep, the stuff in the fridge with vinegar will bubble like crazy and tingle.)

    5) Rinse with fresh water and dry.

    My welts were completely gone within 3 to 4 hours. It's worked for me 3 times so far. It's cheap and it's stuff I already had in the house.

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    Does anyone know how to treat poison ivy and how to prevent it?

    By Paula M

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    To guest99. What does this jewelweed look like? Could you provide a picture so we know what leaves to look for. Do they populate the midwest or just southern states?

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    My husband has poison oak on his leg. Any ideas on how to cure it?

    By Elizabeth D.

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    My husband can look at the stuff and break out. I buy Ivarest at the drug store and it works for him. Also, and I don't know for sure about this one but a doctor told my mom years and years ago to use Octagon soap on it. That would be an old timey cure.

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    I have poison oak on my body and it is very easy for me to catch this. Are there any people out there who have home remedies for this? Help! Please.

    By Jimmie

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    I got poison ivy all over my hands and fingers one year. I found by putting them under running water (as hot as I could tolerate) would keep them from itching for almost an hour.

    After cutting an overgrown yard one day, our oldest son had poison ivy all over his face. The doctor had given him medicine but it didn't stop the itching. Hot washcloths on his face every thirty minutes or so also made this bearable until it went away.

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    I have poison ivy on my face and I have done all of the treatments and I believe that it is getting better. Well, I don't know if it's getting better because it's all dried up! Please tell me if that's good or bad. I need info.

    By Bean-o from MA

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    Yes, the fact that the rash is drying up is a very good sign. The liquid that comes out of the bumps is what spreads the rash. My entire family is extremely sensitive to poison ivy. Calamine never helped, but a gel called Rhuli-gel worked like a charm!

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    I've heard that poison ivy hates boron-rich soil, and that an easy way to kill it off and prevent it from re-growing is to add borax to the soil. Has anyone else heard of this? And do you know if it would hurt other plants as well? I have three 100+ year old maples that I really don't want to kill. I have tons of poison ivy, and this seemed like a relatively cheap and safe way to get rid of it. Any ideas?

    Hardiness Zone: 5a


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    I put on rubber gloves that the health care industry uses and then pull out that dreaded stuff. Then I hold it in my hand and take the glove off pulling the top down around the poison ivy. The ivy should end up inside the outside of the glove. Or it is inside the inside out glove. Then I put it in the trash.

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    How do we use Fels Naptha to effectively treat poison ivy rash? And anything special to do with it to make laundry soap for poison ivy clothes?


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    Well it has worked for years with us, just take a bar of Fels napha, suds it up and put the lather on the poison ivy and let it dry, after couple of batches it'll dry up and be gone.

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    My brother's dog went outside and got into poison sumac and he did not know til the next day. What is good for treating my brother's skin around the eyes, mouth, and all over his face? I also need to know how to get it off the dog as well.

    By Joanna G

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    Hi - i found lots of information just by asking the question on Google but since this seems to be all around the face I would suggest seeing a dermatologist ASAP.

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    After washing the area with soap and water, wipe down that area of the skin with a mix of 1/2 chlorine bleach and 1/2 water and rinse with water. Helps to remove the plant oil that creates all that itching.

    By Truerblue

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    Spring through fall are prime seasons for poison ivy and poison oak. Stop the itching, spread and blisters with these home and natural remedies:

    • Homemade Paste: Mix one tablespoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita) with 1 to 2 cup green clay, and add enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste liberally to the rash and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Store leftover paste in a tightly sealed jar and reapply as needed. The remedy soothes the itch by absorbing the irritating plant oils and drying the rash. It also works for poison oak.
    • Hot water and a banana: Take as hot as shower as you can stand for as long as you can. It will feel good and help relieve the itching. Then take a banana peel and rub it on the infected area. The itch should be gone for eight to twelve hours.
    • Watermelon: Take watermelon (the rind and the meat) and glide it over the rash. Let it dry naturally. Within a day, the condition should improve greatly.
    • Baking soda and coffee: First put about a half a cup baking soda in a bowl and slowly add cool coffee to make a thick paste. Then apply the paste liberally to the affected area and allow to dry. The poison will flow out of the blisters like water.
    • Turmeric and lime or lemon juice: Mix one tablespoon of turmeric spice with roughly equal parts of lime or lemon juice to form a thick paste. Carefully apply to the afflicted skin. This remedy stains, and stings ever so slightly, but works miraculously. For avoiding stains on clothes, furniture or carpet, use it in the bathtub, so the bright yellow stuff doesn't fall down and make a mess. Let it sit on your skin for fifteen minutes, then wipe off excess. Some stain will likely remain. By the next day you will be astonished at how it the ivy has dried up and nearly vanished.
    • Vick's Vapor Rub: Clean the infected areas first and then rub Vick's on the areas twice a day to rid infection. Slightly burns at first. Dries up the infection in one to three days.
    • Poke salad root: Boil the root of a poke salad plant until it turns into a paste form. It will have a strong odor. Then, once it has cooled enough not to scald, rub it on the infected area until you can feel it "burn or sting". It should neutralize the poison ivy overnight.
    • Dishwashing liquid: Rub dishwashing liquid onto skin area and within 15 to 20 minutes the itch should disappear. Do not wash off until the next morning and then reapply. Within a couple of days the skin area should clear. This is also good for mosquito bites.
    • Burdock roots: Make a strong tea with burdock roots and apply to the skin. Let it dry and re-apply as often as needed. It relieves the itching immediately.
    • Hemorrhoid ointment or liquid Blistex: Smear it on the areas affected to relieve itching and clear up within 24 hours or so.
    • Peachtree leaves: Get some leaves from a peach tree, boil them and then let the water cool. Take a cotton ball and apply the liquid to the affected areas. Works almost overnight and should be almost completely clear within two-three days.
    • Oatmeal: Run a warm bath and fill an old sock with oatmeal. While soaking in the tub, take the sock of oatmeal and gently rub it all over the affected areas.
    • Clear fingernail polish: Can be used to coat the affected areas to prevent spreading and lessen itching.

    By Tony from Utopia, TX


    Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

    A lady in our church had it so bad that it got into her eyes and the inside of her mouth! She went to the doctor and he gave her shot and more shots, nothing worked. Finally someone told her to take white shoe polish and put it all over her body, except the eyes and inside her mouth, let it dry and repeat until it was gone. She did this and it took care of it for her. Some type of alcohol used in the white polish cured the rash. Only the white polish has this type of alcohol. I am not in the medical field, but it worked for her. Won't hurt to try it. (05/11/2007)

    By justmyimagination2002

    Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

    Benadryl. One of the best things you can do for poison ivy is to use Benadryl cream "on" the area and also take Benadryl orally too. The cheapest way is to use the generic Benadryl... diphenhydramine. Benadryl works by helping your body to "not" produce histamines (which cause itching and swelling)


    • Vinegar - One of the best is vinegar, apply liberally on rash with a wet paper towel or cotton ball or poison ivy blisters for instant relief from itch. It may not smell great, but works wonders by helping draw out the "poison" from poison ivy while it also helps healing. It works by changing the skins pH. Use white or cider, either will work.

    • Baking soda - Another pH changer is the old standby, Baking soda bath or just mix baking soda and water together and pat on skin. Baking soda works by drying out the blisters and the cool baking soda baths soothe and help stop itching.

    • Banana peal - Many think that banana peal is a "miracle cure". Use the inside of a banana peel rubbed on the poison ivy rash. It's supposed to bring instant, cooling relief. Some say that banana skins may even do the trick when all other poison ivy treatment fails. I say, "Give it a try, it can only help!"

    • Dish soap - When "first" exposed to poison ivy and the like, quickly apply straight dishwashing liquid liberally from the bottle at full strength. Then simply wash off with cool water. The greatest cutting agents help get off as much of the poison as possible before all of it can penetrate you skin.

    • Aloe vera gel - For just plain helping the poison ivy heal and helping it feel good too, don't forget the old stand by fresh aloe vera gel.

    • Oatmeal - Another method for "drying" up the poison ivy, thus helping the area to heal is plain old oatmeal. Simply make the oatmeal as you normally would, then let it cool and apply warm to the area until a thick layer forms. It will harden as it dries. You can also add a tablespoon or two of baking soda for extra relief.

    • Urine - Yes, you read it right, urine can help poison ivy as it does jellyfish. Urine is sterile and it's supposed to get rid of poison ivy and the like in half the time! Many swear by it. If you have the nerve, maybe you'll try it too. Just don't pee on your kids.They'll think you've gone crazy!

    • DMSO - Is supposed to get rid of poison ivy and oak in 3 or 4 days.

    • Hydrocortisone and other corticosteroids help by relieving itching and also promote healing. Use sparingly, especially with children!

    • Pure "clay" powder mixed with water. The type of clay you can get a most health food stores (called bentonite clay) works best, or you can sometimes buy liquid clay (called "slip") from stores that cell ceramics. Clay works by drying up the blisters like oatmeal does, but clay works faster. Use only super clean clay or you may very well have an infection to deal with too.

    • Pennies soaked in vinegar - I read on the internet that by placing about 40 pennies in one cup of vinegar and letting these sit for a day. The chemical reaction of copper and vinegar are supposed to form in this liquid. This copper/vinegar solution is supposed to dry up the blisters. Who knows if it works? But I wouldn't try this on children. If you want to try this: Do it on yourself first, not your kids.

    • Table salt - Here's a quote from the internet "For poison oak or poison ivy use plain table salt. Just wet the infected area and rub it with table salt for fast relief and to stop the spread. Use again if itching doesn't stop after the first application. Usually stops it cold and also stops the spread. I have been using it for over 40 years with much success. It was told me by my grandmother who had used it for many years."

    • Blow drying - Here's another quote from the internet: "For poison ivy to help stop itching, get a blow dryer and on high heat blow on infected till itching stops." (a note: I think this is another method that works by "drying" up the blisters like oatmeal and baking soda and table salt)

    • Rubbing alcohol - Dermatologists recommend applying rubbing alcohol liberally to skin and clothing exposed to poison ivy, followed by a thorough washing with water. This can be done anytime within four hours of exposure. Alcohol is a solvent and draws the toxic oils out of the skin and clothing and prevents or reduces the rash and itching.


    Some people have a severe allergic reaction to poison ivy and the like (just like some have with bees). If this is you, have someone get you to a doctor right away or call 911 immediately! If you have this allergy (or one to bees, etc.) ask your doctor about having an "Epi-pen" around for emergencies such as these.


    DO NOT use bleach, this can permanently burn you skin and cause massive pain!

    Here's some great sites for home remedies for poison ivy, etc.:

    http://www.myhomeremedies.com/topic.cgi?topicid=165 (05/23/2007)

    By Cyinda

    Remedies for Poison Ivy and Poison Oak

    Just tried the table salt trick and it worked very well. I can't believe how fast it worked. The red blisters don't itch and they are about gone. WOW this is crazy! (08/09/2008)

    By Jo Jo

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    Health & Beauty Home RemediesJanuary 20, 2013
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