25 Effective Home Remedies To Get Rid of Poison Ivy Rash

Reviewed by Dr.Gopi Krishna Maddikera , MavCure Research has shown that 85% individuals are allergic to poison ivy, making it one of t...

Reviewed by Dr.Gopi Krishna Maddikera, MavCure

Research has shown that 85% individuals are allergic to poison ivy, making it one of the most common causes of skin allergy.

Poison ivy is most commonly found in Asian and North American countries.There are several effective home remedies are there to get rid of the poison ivy rash.You can discover them below.

Rashes also develop on contact with clothes, shoes or other tools that are contaminated by the urushiol oil. The rash is not communicable. It develops 12 to 72 hours after contact with the harmful urushiol oil.

What is Poison Ivy?

Poison ivy plant is a shrub and grows up to six feet tall.Each stem of the plant differentiates into three leaves, and the leaves are about one to five inches long.

The leaves have either smooth or notched edges. Depending upon the season, this shrub has yellow or green flowers and yellowish green to white berries.

These plants are most commonly found in open grounds, mountainous regions, riverside, fields or even backyards. This plant is also known by the name-“Rhus” and “Toxidendron.”

The cause for allergy is the oil which is found in these species. Urushiol is the oil component in the plant which on contact with the skin, enters the skin and causes redness and itching.

Some symptoms to look out for are rashes,  swelling of the skin, boils and blisters and in severe conditions, difficulty in breathing.
The rashes do not develop immediately on contact with poison ivy. It is very important to take quick measures to avoid aggravating the symptoms.

Immediate Actions:

Here are a few immediate measures that you can take on contact with poison ivy:
  • Wash the point of contact thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Cut your nails and clean the fingernails properly to avoid spreading of the rashes.
  • Apply alcohol to the body parts which came in contact with poison ivy.
  • Take a cool, damp cloth and gently press it on the affected areas for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Another immediate measure to take is washing your clothes and other tools. The reason is that there may be urushiol oil which may be on these which may spread the rashes.
  • If you suspect that your pets have come in contact with the poison ivy plant, wash and clean them too thoroughly.
  • Applying lemon juice on the areas of contact has also proven effective.
In most of the cases, individuals do not realize that they have come in contact with the poison ivy plant. They only realize it after a few hours or days when they start developing rashes and blisters, and the skin starts itching.

Home Remedies To Get Rid of Poison Ivy Rash Fast:

If such is the case, try these simple home remedies which would help you to relieve your symptoms:

1.The Cold Compress Method:

This is one of the simplest methods. Take a clean cloth and wet it with cold water. Now squeeze out excess water and gently dab this cloth on the areas where you have got the rashes. Repeat the process for 15 to 20 minutes every day for a few weeks.

2.The Cool Cucumber:

Cut slices of cucumber and place them on the affected areas. Alternately, you can also grind the cucumber and make a paste of it and apply it on the rashes. The cooling effect of the cucumber helps in relieving the symptoms.

3.Aloe Vera:

Take a stalk of Aloe Vera and slice it from the middle. Rub the exposed gel on the affected areas.

Aloe Vera has properties which relieve the inflammation. You may also make use of the commercially available Aloe Vera gels.


Another easy remedy is to soak some oatmeal in milk. Make a paste and transfer it into cloth. Now make a knot of this cloth and dab it on the affected areas. You may also put this cloth in your bucket or bathtub while having a bath.

A little amount of baking soda can also be added to the paste, as it helps to bring the itching under control. Also, using oatmeal based bath products is beneficial.

5.The Baking Soda and Water Paste:

Take three tsp. Of baking soda and one tsp. of water. Now mix this well to make a smooth paste.

Apply this paste on the affected areas and leave it for 10-15 minutes. Wash off with cool water.Repeat the process 2-4 times a day. You can also add baking soda to your bathtub or bucket while having a bath.

6.Epsom Salt:

Put some Epsom salt in your bucket or bathtub and have a bath with this water. Epsom salt helps by drying out the rash. For best results, follow the directions for use given on the packet.

7.Banana Peel:

Yes, you read it right! The inside part of the banana peel has cooling properties. Rub it gently against the affected areas. It also gives relief from severe itching.

8.Watermelon and Muskmelon Rind:

Another easy and effective way to relieve the burning sensation of the rashes is to rub the rind of watermelon and muskmelon on your rashes. This method has been proven very effective in some people.

9.Witch Hazel:

Using a lotion or cream containing witch hazel is a proven effective remedy against itching and swelling. Witch hazel is known for its anti-inflammatory property. You may even apply it directly on your skin.

10.Tea Bags:

Wet the tea bags and dab them on the rashes for cooling effect. The tannic acid present in them is helpful in curing the symptoms. Another method is to dip a cotton swab in black tea and apply it to the affected areas. Let it dry completely and then wash off with cool water. The same can be done using black coffee.


Anti – histamines help in reducing the allergic effect of the poison ivy. Many anti- histamines are accessible in the local store. Consult your physician for the one that is suitable for your condition.

12.Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is readily accessible in local stores and a very effective method of getting rid of rashes. Take a cotton swab and dip it in the apple cider vinegar. Now gently apply it on the affected areas. Apple cider vinegar destroys the urushiol oil which causes the allergy


Dip a clean cloth or a cotton ball in milk and wipe it against your skin affected by the rashes. Preferably, use chilled milk for better results. Let it dry out and have a bath with cold water.

14.Corticosteroid Creams:

These creams are easily available in medical stores, and they help in minimizing the inflammation caused due to the rashes. First, wash the affected areas with water and pat dry completely.

Apply a thin layer of the cream and massage it gently over the affected skin. This cream can be applied once or twice a day, or as prescribed by the doctor. Avoid using this cream on the face.

15.Calamine Lotion:

This lotion has a soothing and protecting effect on the skin. It is readily available in local stores. If the lotion is available in a bottle, it is advised to shake it well before use. It is best to apply the lotion using a clean cloth or a cotton ball.

You may use this lotion as many times as is required. It is best to consult a doctor for the exact measure of dose suitable for in your case. This is a highly recommended remedy to alleviate the poison ivy symptoms.

16.White Vinegar:

In a bowl, mix one cup white vinegar and 1 ½ cup water. Now keep this mixture in the refrigerator for some time. Remove it and with the help of a cotton ball apply it all over the affected areas.

17.Goldenseal Root:

The dried root of this herb is used as an effective remedy to treat poison ivy. It is very helpful to reduce swelling, blisters and rashes. It is applied directly on the skin in the form of a paste.

It has anti-bacterial properties. This herb can also be taken in the form of tea or supplements.


The leaves and stem of this plant are very effective to treat poison ivy. You may crush the leaves and stem, and the juice can be directly applied to the affected areas. It reduces the irritation caused due to the allergy.

19.Tea Tree Oil:

Being anti-infective and anti-bacterial, this oil helps to relieve the allergic symptoms of the poison ivy. Apply directly on the rash using a cotton swab. It gives a great relief against itching.

20.Manzanita Bark:

The green part of the bark is immersed in water and left for some time. It is the boiled for some time and left to cool. This solution should be then applied to the affected areas.

Manzanita bark has anti-inflammatory properties and is also effective in alleviating allergic symptoms.

21.Burrow’s Solution:

It is also available as”Dome-Boro” tablets. Put one or two of these tablets in 500 ml water. Now apply the prepared solution on the affected areas and leave it for 20 minutes. Repeat this 2-3 times daily.


These drugs have been proven very effective in the treatment of poison ivy rash. It is recommended to take these drugs for 2-3 weeks. Consult your physician before taking these drugs to know the exact amount to be consumed.

Individuals suffering from peptic ulcer, diabetes mellitus, and high blood pressure should avoid taking these drugs.

23.Hydrocortisone Cream:

This cream is very effective in treating skin allergies. It aids in reducing swelling, redness and itching. It is a mild form of corticosteroid. Wash the affected areas with water and let it dry completely.

Now massage gently the hydrocortisone cream over the affected areas. Do not cover the area with any cloth or cotton or bandage. This process can be repeated up to 4 times in a day.

However, it is best to consult your physician for the suitable brand and dosage.

24.Sea/Ocean Bath:

Another very effective way to dry up the rashes is to have a bath in sea or ocean water. The salt in it helps in drying up all the rashes.


This is a type of cleanser which helps in removing the urushiol oil. Apply the cleanser on the dry skin vigorously for 2-3 minutes and rinse it off with cool water. This cleanser is easily available in local stores.

As the famous saying goes, prevention is better than cure; it is best to take preventive measures and save yourself all the hassle and pain!

Preventive Actions:

A few preventive measures that you can take to avoid the poison ivy rash are:

While going in forested areas or hilly areas, it is best to cover your body as much as possible. So wear full sleeves and full-length pants.

In case you see smoke coming out of somewhere, avoid going near it. The reason is that in case the burning stock has poison ivy in it, it may affect your respiratory tract. You might experience difficulty in breathing and swallowing.

Know how the poison ivy plant looks, so that you can avoid contact with it.

In case, this plant grows in your backyard pull it out along with the roots. Be careful and use thick protective gloves while doing this. Also, get rid of those gloves or wash them thoroughly after use, to get rid of the urushiol oil.

While going out carry along with you cream that act as a barrier, like the petroleum jelly. Ivy block lotion is another very effective barrier.

You may also carry a little alcohol with you to dissolve the urushiol oil.

As far as possible, avoid going in areas which are most likely to have these plants.

In most cases, home remedies prove effective in getting rid of the rashes caused by contact with poison ivy.

When to Consult a Doctor?

However, immediately rush to the doctor if you see the following symptoms:
  1. Itching and redness all over the body.
  2. Rashes seem to be spreading all over the body.
  3. Swelling of the face and around the eyes.
  4. Difficulty in swallowing and breathing.
  5. The rashes develop in your mouth and genital areas.
Under normal circumstances, with the help of home remedies, all the symptoms of the poison ivy disappear in 2-3 weeks.


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