Home Remedies for Poison Ivy Rash and Itch Relief

The sap produced by poison ivy contains a compound known as urushiol which causes itching, swelling and blistering. Although the rash formed there off may not require medical treatment, making use of home remedies for poison ivy can help to hasten the healing. These include home remedies for the rash, natural as well as herbal remedies. We discuss the usage of these remedies in this post.

Home Remedies for Poison Ivy

The poison ivy produces sap containing an oil compound known as urushiol. This is the same compound produced by the poison sumac and poison oak. The compound is meant to help the plant retain water but has a terrible effect on human skin. When it touches the skin, it leads to swelling, itching and at times a blistering rash. In very sensitive people the effects could also extend to intense burning sensations, red bumps and fever.

Home remedies for poison ivy rash
Here are home remedies for poison ivy rash.

This could be for a few hours or up to ten days depending on severity. The most dangerous exposure to poison ivy though is experienced when the plant is burnt. This is because is produces a sap-coated soot capable of getting in eyes, the nose, throat and the respiratory system . To calm down these effects, you can make use of home remedies for poison ivy discussed below.

Running water

To lessen the severity of the effects, the affected part of the body should be washed off with running water and soap. Doing this immediately after contact helps to minimize severity and size of rash that forms later. Use cold and not hot water as this could open up the pores and thus allow more toxins to penetrate the skin. When trying to minimize the effects of the sap on face , remember to be careful enough not to let the water get into the eyes.

Run water on the poison ivy rash as a natural remedy
Run water on the poison ivy rash as a natural remedy

Cold compresses

Cold compresses tend to constrict the blood vessels and thus minimize the amount of toxins entering the body. They also numb the area therefore reducing poison ivy itch and swelling . This way the rash is minimized. Whenever the rash gets itchy, try to tame it by applying a cold press. This will prevent you from scratching the area which could cause open blisters and infections.

Witch Hazel

This is known to also reduce the rash on the point of contact. Dab a small amount of organic witch hazel on the affected area. This will relief itch and cleanse the area as well. It can also be taken or used in the form of brewed tea. Dip a cotton ball into it and dab it on the area. Leave it to air dry and repeat as may be necessary.

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Himalayan Crystal Salt

Himalayan crystal salt for treating poison ivy rash at home
Himalayan crystal salt for treating poison ivy rash at home.

Salt is a great remedy for poison ivy as it helps to drain out the excess water that results after contact. Use purified water to make a paste from Himalayan salt. You could also take a bath in the salt and soak in it for 30 minutes.

Cold Coffee

Coffee contains chlorogenic acid which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. This helps to keep the swelling and blistering down. Use a cotton ball to apply cold coffee on the affected area. To avoid further spreading, ensure you dispose the cotton ball properly and that it does not come into contact with other parts of the body. You can also use cold coffee to wash up the area. Pour an amount enough to run over the area like you would when washing it with water.

Lavender Oil

This essential oil is yet another great remedy for poison ivy. It helps to heal the affected skin rapidly. This should be used after the blisters have opened. This oil is safe for use undiluted and can be dabbed on the area of treatment using a cotton ball.

Mouth Wash

Mouth wash contains antibacterial agents to guard the mouth. These same compounds work to fasten healing on the skin’s point of contact with the poison ivy.  It also contains alcohol that helps to dry up the rash on face. Minty ones are most preferred for this condition. Use a cotton ball to dab some on the point of poison ivy contact.

Pine Tar Soap

Pine tar contains healing agents. It has for long been used in combination with other compounds in ointments and soaps. Use it to wash up the area under running water for a fast remedy.

Dish Washing Soap

Dish washing soaps that are meant for grease cutting will be effective on poison ivy. One can make some out of regular liquid soap by adding some lemon juice. Formulations that are specially made to cut grease will help to break down the oils in urushiol and thus reduce its effects. This will work out great for a fast itch relief.

Ocean Water

Since this contains around 3.5 percent salt, it can help to speed up the drying up of the blisters and help healing. The same can be replicated by dissolving salt in water. Use the water to clean up the area. You could also soak a bandage with the water and apply this on the rash.

Home Remedies for Poison Ivy Rash

According to Mayo Clinic, 50 percent of persons who get into contact with poison ivy develop an itchy rash . When poison ivy comes into contact with your skin, the level of reaction that you experience depends on the skin sensitivity. Immediately the oil has touched the skin, it starts penetrating it. 12 to 48 hours later, the area will have turned red, become itchy and some rash will appear. This is then followed up by blistering which should heal within 10 days. To hasten the healing process, you can make use of home remedies for poison ivy rash.

Tea Tree Oil

This essential oil contains antiseptic properties and can stop the blisters from oozing. This will hasten healing. Using the oil could sting but the stinging should fade after a while. Before applying tea tree on a large area, test if your skin is sensitive to it. In case it is, dilute it with an equal amount of water. If not, dab the oil on the area and leave it on without rinsing.


Aspirin contains salicylic acid which helps to quicken the healing of the rash. Grind a few aspirin tablets and add some water to them to make a consistent paste. Apply the paste on the area and leave it to dry.

Calamine Lotion

Calamine lotion for relieving poison ivy itch
Calamine lotion for relieving poison ivy itch

This normally contains a mixture of ferric acid or iron and zinc oxide. It acts as an anti-itch remedy and can help to soothe poison ivy rash by drying it up. Purchase some from a store or make some at home and apply some on the area three times each day.

Burrow’s solution

This is one of the lesser known poison ivy remedies. It is sold over the counter without a prescription to relieve rashes. It can be found in either tablet or powder form. Mix it with water as directed and apply the paste on the area. This should help drain the rash and heal it fast.

Hydrocortisone Creams

These creams are available over the counter. They can help to treat mild cases of poison ivy. Purchase this from the nearest drugstore and apply it on the area. Where the reaction to contact with poison ivy is severe and warrants a visit to the doctor, prescription strength creams may be offered as treatment for itch relief and to dry up the rash.

Poison Ivy Natural Treatment

In case you are wondering whether it is possible to naturally treat the aftermath of poison ivy contact, there are poison ivy natural treatments that really work . These are items that are readily available and therefore affordable.


Cucumber slices are a simple remedy for poison ivy.

  1. Place a few slices of cucumber on the point of contact and leave it for a while.
  2. You could also mash up the cucumber and apply the paste on the skin for it to give a soothing effect.

Baking Soda Poison Ivy Cure in Eye

Baking soda speeds up recovery. It helps to get rid of the irritation and itch that is brought about by poison ivy. It also helps to draw out the toxins to the skins surface.

  1. Mix one teaspoon of water with three teaspoons of baking soda. Mix well until a paste forms. Apply the paste generously on the affected area and wait for the paste to flake off. Repeat procedure every two hours.
  2. Another way to use this would be to add a cup of baking soda I the bath water with warm water in it. Soak in it for 30 minutes.
  3. Yet another effective way to use baking soda is to add two tablespoons of baking soda into a liter of water. Get sterile gauze pads and saturate them with this mixture and then use them to cover poison ivy blisters for ten minutes. This though should not be used on or close to the eyes.

Oatmeal for Rash on Face

Oatmeal helps in soothing the itch. This saves you from scratching which would otherwise make the situation worse. There are different ways to use oatmeal.

  1. Grind a cup of oatmeal in the blender until it forms a fine powder. Pour this onto a cheese cloth or a clean pantyhose and apply the pouch directly on the rash.
  2. You could also soak in oats. Bath in lukewarm water that has a cupful of oatmeal to dry up oozing blisters and soothe skin irritation.

Rubbing Alcohol

This will help to prevent further infections and prevent the rash from spreading. It is advisable to carry some with you when you know you are going to areas with the plant. Since the poison does not penetrate the skin all at once, rubbing alcohol helps to prevent the poisonous chemical from penetrating the skin further. It could also help to draw out the chemical.

  1. Immediately after getting into contact with the plant, apply rubbing alcohol. This will reduce discomfort and minimize its spreading.
  2. Rinse the exposed area well with water and dispose material used to rub the area off.

Banana Peels for Itch Relief

Banana peels help to cool itching as well as relief the effects of poison ivy. Rub the inner part of a banana peel on the affected part of the skin to benefit from its cooling properties.

Watermelon Rind

Watermelon tends to be cold on the skin and has the same effects as cucumbers. It will offer relief from itch resulting from the poison ivy. Rub the rinds on the part of the skin that is affected.

Lemon juice

This acts as a natural astringent and helps to eliminate the oil. It works by breaking down the urushiol compounds. This should be applied soon after contact before the oil from the plant gets fully into the skin.

Vinegar Remedy for Poison Ivy

Apple cider vinegar is an effective poison ivy rash natural treatment . It contains medicinal properties and works by drawing out toxins from the rash. This way apple cider vinegar helps to tame he allergic reaction as well as the itch.

  1. Start off by thoroughly cleaning the area using lukewarm water and soap.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place this on the rash.
  3. Let it rest for a while before rinsing it off.

Herbal Remedies for Poison Ivy

Herbal remedies for poison ivy help in treatment of the resulting rash .  Each of these will work differently on individuals but should not take more than10 days to clear.

Home remedies for poison ivy sting
Poison ivy plant. Image credit: Wikipedia

Aloe vera

This ancient cure for most skin conditions can work on poison ivy rash as it contains anti-inflammatory constituents. Get some aloe leaf and break it off. You could also get some gel from natural stores and apply it directly on the rash.

Organic Goldenseal

Goldenseal helps to avoid infection on the rashes. For fast results, mix some golden seal powder with some hot water to make a paste. Rub the paste on the point of poison ivy contact. You could also drink golden seal tea to hasten the healing of the area.

Rhubarb Stem

The juice from this stem is known to help alleviate the damage caused by poison ivy. This is to be applied on the area like other treatments. Squeeze out the juice on a cotton ball and use it to dab the treatment on the area.

The after effects of poison ivy contact are irritating. The best way not to experience these is by learning how the plant looks like and keep off from it. In case you come into contact with it, remove your clothes and wash the area immediately and use the above mentioned remedies. in case of severe reactions such as trouble breathing, rashes all over the body, contact with the eyes or genitals, contact your doctor immediately.

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One comment

  1. I got poison ivy from my dog. He ran through it…. and then nuzzled me.

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