Home Remedy Treatments for Poison Ivy
Home Remedies from the Kitchen
for Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac
Cool off. If the itch has already begun, a cool bath or shower may help ease the itch. Placing ice-cold compresses on the rash for a few minutes every hour may also provide relief.
Baking soda. Concoct a paste of baking soda and water, and spread it on the affected area. Freshen the application every two hours for a total of 3 applications each day. Before going to bed, pour a cup of baking soda into a lukewarm bath and take a soak.
Coffee. If you have any leftover (cold) coffee in your cup, pouring it on a poison ivy rash may be a good way to get rid of the coffee and the rash. Appalachian folk medicine followers believe in washing the affected area with a cup of cold black coffee. Coffee beans contain chlorogenic acid, an anti-inflammatory. This coffee cure hasn't been proved, as there haven't been any studies done on it.
Vinegar. Be it from plant, insect, or allergic reaction, itches of all sorts are tamed by a simple vinegar rinse. First, wash the affected area with soap and lukewarm water, then rinse. Apply vinegar with a cotton ball, rub gently, and rinse.
Soap and water. Waste no time in getting the poisonous plant victim in contact with water -- urushiol is water soluble so use lots and lots of water when you rinse. Rinse before using soap; this will reduce the risk of spreading the oil. And hurry! You have only 10 minutes or so before the oil will start to penetrate your skin. Air-dry the skin. Any towels used for cleaning should be washed immediately in hot water and detergent -- the oil can linger on towels to "get you" again.
Aloe vera. According to the folk medicine taught by Seventh Day Adventists, aloe vera sap helps treat poison ivy rash through its anti-inflammatory constituents. Break off a leaf and apply the sap to the affected area. Allow to dry and gently wash off. Reapply every two hours.
Soak in oats. Bathing in lukewarm water mixed with oatmeal or baking soda may help dry oozing blisters and soothe irritated skin.
Remedies from the Medicine Cabinet
Smooth on some calamine lotion. Your mother probably painted your skin pink with this goop if you had a brush with poison ivy as a kid. Smart thinking, Mom: Calamine lotion can be mildly soothing and help dry the rash. Apply it in a thin layer, however, so that the pores in your skin are not sealed.
Apply Burow's solution. This lesser-known product (sold without a prescription) can soothe and relieve mild rashes when put on compress-style. It's often sold under the name Domeboro, in a tablet or powder form that you mix with water (according to package directions). Ask your pharmacist if you're having trouble locating it.
Try hydrocortisone creams. Sold without a prescription, these creams may offer some relief for mild rashes. However, for more serious cases, hydrocortisone creams are not strong enough to help. If you have a rash that is severe enough to take you to the doctor, he or she may prescribe more potent