Home Remedies for Poison Ivy

June 3, 2013

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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October 23, 2008

An elderly neighbor told me how to get rid of poison ivy. She said to me, the old timers would pick a leaf of the plant each spring and eat it. Warning! Eating poison ivy can be very dangerous and can cause shock and severe breathing problems.


April 18, 2005

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.


18 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

Bronze Craft Medal for All Time! 67 Crafts
May 21, 2007

Does anyone know of some homemade cures for poison ivy?

Sandy from Bluff City, TN


May 22, 20070 found this helpful

If someone in your area grows jewel flowers, ask for some and for some seeds so you can grow your own. You mush up everything but the roots and apply it to the infected area. It's an old fashion remedy but works better than cortizone. My grandmother called the flowers 'touch-me-nots' because when you touch the ripe seed pods, they explode.


They are really hard to find. Some places on the internet sell soap and lotions made from the jewel flowers. I've heard that they work fairly well. A little searching might help you find some real flowers or something made from them. Good luck

By COOKIEPOM (Guest Post)
May 22, 20070 found this helpful

I get poison ivy every year from somewhere in one of my flower beds. A friend of mine told me to use bleach on a cotton ball applied to the area. I did and it worked great! It dried up the rash and made me feel much better as well.

By Amy Lane (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

I'm severly allergic to Poison Ivy and we have it rampant thru our yard. I use generic benedryl capsuls one twice a day and two at night so I don't fall asleep at my job!


During the day I keep the pre-packed alcohol swipes with me and rub the areas down quite often. The alcohol dries it and stops the itching.

May 23, 20070 found this helpful

I haven't personally found a cure for poison ivy, though I had it really, really bad one year. Had to get shots and take cortisone too.

This isn't a cure, but it definitely helps during healing: Hopefully, the affected area is in an area of your body that can be held under water. Hold the area under water as hot as you can stand it for about as long as you can stand it. It will feel like it is being "scratched" really, really hard. When you are through, gently dry the area and that should curb the itching for about 24 hours.

By Mythi (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

Drink lots of water and take Vitamin C and E. It helps the immune system clear up the body. You can also use a blow dryer on a LOW setting as it drys the poison ivy out.


The one other thing is to use Clearasil / Salycilic Acid. Spread it on thinly and it helps dry the top layer and the rash peel off.

May 23, 20070 found this helpful

I don't know of a homemade cure, but Burt's Bees makes a "Farmers Friend Poison Ivy soap" with Jewelweed in it and it works very well to calm down the inflammation and itching. It is also good if you get the "itchies" after working in the yard. It runs about $5 a bar and I know carries it. Perhaps a store in your area carries it? A lot of specialty stores carry Burt's Bees products. I have also bought some homemade Jewelweed soap at a couple of craft fairs.

By annie (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

My father always rubbed a lather of fels naptha soap on us and let it dry. It never failed.


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May 23, 20070 found this helpful

the main thing is to make sure all the clothing is washed in hot water. and then you wash your whole self with antibacterial soap. no matter what the poisen doesnt spread but where ever you touched while the oil was still on you that is where the poisen will be.


many people dont realize this information but the spreading is really from the oil on your clothes and such.

By Judith E. (Guest Post)
May 23, 20070 found this helpful

My father believed in soaking affected part in Epson Salts. Also make a paste of baking soda and put on affected area...both help dry it up faster.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts
May 24, 20070 found this helpful

This is not a home remedy, but I have been using it and recommending it for over 20 years. The product is Hyland's Poison Oak tablets, and is good for poison ivy as well as poison oak. This product is a natural remedy that is available in health food stores. It is also available on the internet. I believe Amazon.Com is one online source, but you could just go to Google and type in Hyland's Poison Oak tablets. It is very inexpensive, and it will prevent poison ivy as well as dry it up once you have the rash.


I picked wild berries in the woods for many years and sold them at the Farmer's Market, and about a week before I started picking, I would begin taking a tablet or two each day. I once fell off a log while picking berries and landed on my back in a poison ivy patch, and never got a single blister. If you are planning a camping trip, you can take them before hand, and it will help. I swear by these pills.
Harlean from Arkansas

By Angela From TX (Guest Post)
May 25, 20070 found this helpful

Ever heard of using tabbaco for wasp/bee stings? Remove stinger, wet a pinch of tabaco, put it where you
were stung, leave it alone. It works great, stops the stinging/burning right away, pulls out the venom, no swelling. In about an hour, all thats left is a little red dot.

Worked so well on bee stings, I tried it on my poison Ivy about a month ago. Stopped the itch instantly, after about 2 hours the patch on my underside of my forearm was COMPLETELY gone. No bumps, reddness, no signs it was ever there. (it may sting when you first put it on for a few seconds)

Funny thing is, I'm sitting here w/ patches of tabaco all over my face now. I used my friends yard gloves after she had just finished clearing her fence line (which I was later told it was full of poison Ivy) and while wearing the gloves, I wiped the sweat off my forehead and out of my eyes, and so on....You guessed it, poison ivy now it covers my face, neck, and everywhere I rubbed with the gloves.

Almost all cleared up on my face (about 40 more mins.), and all the swelling is gone. After a break, I"ll start on my neck and chest...


By dibbs (Guest Post)
May 25, 20070 found this helpful

If you realize or believe that you may have touched poison ivy...immediately get white vinegar and have someone pour it liberally over the areas that have contacted the poison ivy.

Of course, if the face is involved you would want to put some vinegar on a q-tip and apply it, avoiding the eye area.
Vinegar neutralizes the oils in poison ivy.

By Bryanna Bowen (Guest Post)
May 31, 20070 found this helpful

well if you go if you go swimming in a pool the chlorine will help dry up the poison ivy

By (Guest Post)
July 7, 20070 found this helpful

Use toothpaste =] im trying it right now so Idk if it works?

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March 30, 2021

How do you make a paste out of the soap? Do you put on your poison ivy to dry it out and how long do you put it on there before? I would love to know the steps into making it into a paste.


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March 30, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

This is a wonderful overview of the topic.

I believe the idea is to rub the wet bar on the affected skin area to make a lather -- not a "paste" exactly. Repeat several times per day.

March 30, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had a really bad case of poison ivy on my feet when I was young. My mom made a paste out of fels naptha by taking a paring knife and cutting small slivers and putting it in a dish, covering it with a tiny amount of hot water to help soften the soap, and stirring it into a paste. When cooled well enough, she spread the paste all over the blisters.
it started drying up later that day!


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March 30, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

Fels Naphtha soap is great for a number of uses and drying poison ivy is a great one.
When you have children and grandchildren you tend to learn all about how to stop pain, itch and many other issues.

Time is of the essence when you find you have gotten into poison ivy or poison oak because the faster you can wash off the oils the quicker the poison will go away.
it's imperative that all clothes are changed and a full bath if possible. That is the time you can lather up with Fels Naphtha or even Dawn dish soap if Fels is not available. Just use lots of water and lather soap all over paying close attention to the area where poison might be. Keep water running so the soap washes off the oil from the poison.

Pat dry - do not rub; take all clothes and towels straight to the laundry and wash with hottest water possible. Rinse twice - hot water.

You can lather Fels between your palms and gently place the 'foam' on all suspected areas and do not wipe off. Be still and let it dry.
Do this several times a day.

You can also make a paste of Fels by scraping off a small amount (use a knife, vegetable peeler, grater, etc) into a small bowl and add a few drops of water at a time until you can mash it into a paste. It needs to be slightly 'creamy' so you can layer it on the affected areas. It cannot be too thick or it will not dry and dryness is what drys up the oil of the poison.
At least this is how I see it and it has always worked for me.
Hope you do not have a bad case and that it heals quickly.

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June 12, 2012

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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August 9, 2005

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


August 9, 20050 found this helpful

Jewelweed is best known for its skin healing properties. The leaves and the juice from the stem of Jewelweed are used to cure poison ivy and other plant induced rashes.

By Barbara (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

I have been able to get rid of poison ivy by scrubbing the rash with a brush and strong soap. The scrubbing causes the blisters to open up. The soap removes the fluid quickly so that it will not cause the rash to spread.

The rash will dry up and heal. I am convinced that high doses of Vitamin C will help the body to heal.

August 10, 20050 found this helpful

Band-Aid makes a calamine that comes in an aerosol spray- that way you don't have to touch it. My husband found that to be very helpful. Also the traditional soaking in epsom salt-water helps dry things up. When washing, you might want to try a poison ivy wash by Tech-nu. I don't remember the exact name, but it cuts the oils so it doesn't continue to spread. You can find it at Wal-Mart or wherever. Hope you get to feeling better!


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August 10, 20050 found this helpful

CalaGel made by Oak-n-ivy is a wonderful product that we use here. Poison ivy grows throughout the bush in the valley next to us. Someone gets poison ivy each summer on themselves, usually my son.

CalaGel is a clear gel. You thinly spread it on the poison ivy rash and it instantly takes the itch away. When is dries it forms a "crust" over the rash keeping the poison ivy rash from weeping. No one else knows you have it on because it is clear...not like calmine lotion doea by leaving a white area. You reapply is about 2 - 3 times a day as needed.

I also use CalaGel to put on a bee sting, mosquito bites, mild sunburn, etc. It is wonderful.

Here is Canada we can not buy it but in the US you can get it at the local pharmacy, I believe. 1-800-ITCHING. It is made by Tec Laboratories, Inc. Albany. OR 97321. Look in google to see the reviews of it, you will be quite impressed. I highly recommend it!!

By Julie (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

I used to get poison oak constantly as a kid. We would mix salt and vinegar together and pack it on our body. I also would swim in the pool alot. It seemed to cool everything down. Good luck!!!!!!!! It is so miserable.

By JERRY (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

If the poison ivy is just a small patch, I recommend
using a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
Use a cotton ball to wipe the area with the solution several times a day. Worked for me.
Also I had a larger patch, and my husband bought some Ivy-Dry and would put it on the spot (it was on my back) for me 3 times daily. After about 4 days it really started to dry up.

By mary (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

I found that athlete's foot powder helped me the best, it will stop the itch and dry up the spots, It worked for me when aveeno etc. would not.

August 10, 20050 found this helpful

Have you tried taking benedryl , it'l stop the itching and dry it at the same time. good luck

By annie. (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

If you can find fels naptha bar soap in your area - slightly dampen the area and rub the bar all over until you are completely covered with lather. Let it air dry and it will be gone in no time

By Mary (Guest Post)
August 19, 20050 found this helpful

Jewel weed is the best. Also known as touch me knots. They are in the impatient family. If you have impatients in your garden, break off the stems and squeeze the juice on the rash. I dry them and make soap for my friends. Works great Good Luck!


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts
August 19, 20050 found this helpful

Go to the Health Food Store and request Poison Oak Tablets. They are a Hyland product and are about $5.00 a bottle. I have been using these successfully and recommending them for about 30 years. If you plan to go camping where there might be poison ivy, just take a couple tablets a day for several days before your campout. It immunizes you. I used to pick wild blackberries every year to sell at the farmer's market, and I took them daily during the season, beginning about a week before I started picking. I once fell off a log backwards in a large patch of poison ivy, and never got a blister. They really work well.
Harlean from Arkansas

By debbie (Guest Post)
December 2, 20050 found this helpful

when I was a kid, a neighbor burned brush with poison ivy. I had it everywhere and doctors gave internally and external medication but I had it so severe, it barely worked. The doctor was going to admit me into the hospital but told my mother to take me to the beach and let me soak in the ocean. It worked wonders and back at home my mother made a salt salution but it didnt work. We went back to the beach for another soaking and brought home gallons of sea water home. I was able to wear clothes again and keep my eyes open within 4 days. Everything cleared up within a week. Since then mild cases of it is always cleared up in a day or two after a day at the beach.

By Rwhittletx (Guest Post)
February 15, 20080 found this helpful

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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June 13, 2013

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 Delcamp from Brighton, MI

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May 3, 2012

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 Brenda Wilson

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June 26, 2011

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

By Elizabeth D.

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July 30, 2007

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



By Dean (Guest Post)
July 31, 20070 found this helpful

You could always try some borax on a small area and monitor the ivy to see what happens but I don't think it will work. You can continue to cut it at the roots or pull up the roots but you have to get all the roots. If you cut it or pull up the roots wear long sleeve shirts,pants and heavy work gloves. And what ever you do,do NOT burn the stuff. You could also go to your local garden center for some advise.

By Peace (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful

I poured vinegar full strength on some poison ivy that was growing in my yard. It died. So did any other vegetation around it. So I am filling in the space with potted plants. I am so happy to be rid of the poison ivy.

By mcmillan968 (Guest Post)
August 2, 20070 found this helpful

BORAX will kill EVERYTHING in the area it is NOT a good solution
Maples are under fire and loosing hand pulling is YOUR ONLYoption!!!

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June 12, 2017

I work in the heat all day, (construction). Should I cover my poison ivy rash?

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August 3, 2012

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

By Paula M

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September 16, 2010

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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June 30, 2008

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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May 10, 2011

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 I<3Horses from MA

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July 8, 2013

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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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 16, 2010

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

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