10 Poison Ivy Home Remedies

Like cough home remedies and home remedies for headaches, these natural poison ivy home remedies can provide relief without getting into the medicine cabinet.

By Alyssa Jung
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    Cucumber calms the rash.

    It's not exactly a day at the spa, but cucumber slices are one of the simplest poison ivy home remedies. Either place slices of this cooling veggie on the affected area, or mash it up to make a cucumber "paste" and apply to the skin for soothing relief.

    Banana peel cools the itch.

    Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on poison ivy-affected skin is an old wives tale that could provide relief because of the peel's cooling qualities. Watermelon rinds are another food some swear by.

    Apple cider vinegar kills the poison.

    With its many medicinal qualities, it's no surprise that apple cider vinegar has also been shown to be a powerful poison ivy home remedy. One way to apply it is to soak a brown paper bag in apple cider vinegar, then place it on the rash to draw out the toxins.

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    Baking soda speeds up recovery.

    A paste of baking soda smeared on your skin might help draw toxins to the surface, which is why the alkaline powder also is known as a natural pimple treatment. To soothe a poison ivy rash, especially one red with blisters, mix 3 teaspoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon water and apply the paste to the affected areas. When it dries, the baking soda will flake off, providing at least temporary relief. Another poison ivy home remedy is to soak in a cool bath with 1 cup of baking soda mixed in.

    You can also use baking soda to treat oozing blisters caused by the rash. Mix 2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 quart (or 1 liter) water and use it to saturate a few sterile gauze pads. Cover the blisters with the wet pads for 10 minutes, four times a day. Note: Do not apply on or near your eyes.

    Oatmeal bath soothes the itch.

    If you're covered in an itchy red rash, save yourself some scratching by soaking in an oatmeal bath. Simply grind 1 cup oatmeal in your blender until it is a fine powder, then pour it into a piece of cheesecloth, the foot section of a clean nylon stocking, or the leg of an old pantyhose. Knot the material, and tie it around the faucet of your bathtub so the bag is suspended under the running water. Fill the tub with lukewarm water and soak in it for 30 minutes. You may find additional relief by applying the oatmeal pouch directly to the rash or pox.

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    Aloe vera beats the burn.

    Just like it soothes a nasty sunburn, the gel from an aloe vera plant can work wonders on a poison ivy rash. Apply the gel directly to the skin from the leaf or use a store-bought product for a quicker remedy.

    Rubbing alcohol prevents spreading.

    If you're going to be in areas where there might be poison ivy, it's a good idea to carry rubbing alcohol with you. Apply it to the affected areas immediately after contact to slow down and minimize the discomfort; this poison ivy home remedy prevents urushiol, the chemical responsible for the rash, from fully penetrating your skin.

    Lemon juice eliminates oil.

    The acid in lemon juice is like a natural astringent, eliminating oil for myriad home and beauty uses. However, some people swear by lemon juice as a poison ivy home remedy, explaining that it cuts through toxic oils. Apply it soon after contact with the irritating leaf, before the plant's oil has time to fully get into your skin.

    Running water lessens severity.

    Washing the affected body parts in cool running water (and soap if it's handy) immediately after contact can help minimize the size and severity of the developing rash. Hot water can open pores and allow more toxic oils to seep in to your skin. You can also take a bath, with or without salt, to draw excess body moisture to the surface.

    Cold compresses reduce rash.

    Apply cold compresses whenever the rash acts up, to tame the itchiness and prevent you from scratching; remember, sharp nails can open blisters to infection. Witch hazel can have a similar effect to reduce the rash, too. Pat on a small amount directly, or with cotton balls. If you need to dry a weepy poison ivy rash, try strongly brewed tea. Simply dip a cotton ball into the tea, dab it on the affected area, and let it air-dry. Repeat as needed.

    Your Comments

    • Felicia

      I had a bad case of ivy so I tried this and it actually worked. I chopped up the cucumber and wrapped in a wet paper towel them applied it to the ivy foe 30 minutes. The next morning the spots we about 70% gone. Thanks for the advice.

    • Dr80ew .

      Rubbing alcohol to dry it then put calomine lotion on it and you will be great.

    • Mike

      The only thing I’ve tried that has relieved the itch is, surprisingly, liquid hand soap. I have sprays and creams that don’t work. I put a bit of soap on the area and it stops the itch for a few hours. It even helps dry out the rash and helps it heal.

    • mouton8303

      This works! OMG! So what I didn’t after a few attempts and making a ginormous mess. So take a cucumber stick it in a blender and blend it until its really fine. I then poured it in a strainer to get some of the juice out. Then I took a good quality paper towel and put the cucumber on that. Placed that paper towel on the rash and the wrapped it. I let sit for an hour. You will notice NO itch almost immediately! . For me my ankles where swollen with a rash! When I removed after fist treatment it was about 70% better! I was shocked! I had just gotten done trying 6 other home remedies with no help! I waited about 2 hours did the same again. Now today is day 3 and rash is 90% gone. I was able to get back to work with almost no discomfort! Every other encounter took 2 weeks to clear up. Pass this info on to everyone u know.

    • Nick

      Although not a home remedy, Cortizone 10 Poison Ivy Relief Pads are
      the #1 doctor recommended, fast-acting, anti-itch medicine that will help
      reduce the itching and scratching from poison ivy. The pads are formulated to provide fast relief
      from exposure to poison ivy, oak and sumac with a combination of aloe,
      botanicals and oat extract while cooling and soothing the skin on contact.
      These pads can be found across the U.S in most major retailers.

    • LMR

      I used #1 the cucumber method and kept the cucumber slices on my skin for 30 minutes. Relief was almost immediate and the pain was down by 70% after 30 minutes. I repeated about 8 hours later and now the sting & itching is totally gone. I used really fresh cucumber from my garden (this probably makes a difference).

    • Felicia Edel

      The best remedy that worked for me that I did not find on Internet for itch relief was to fill a tub very hot water and soake with Epsom salt. I would apply Epsom salt directly

      • Felicia Edel

        To the rash area and wait a 20 seconds them rinse off with bath water. After bathing 10-15 mins dry off and apply anti

        • Felicia Edel

          Itch medicine to all areas and you will be comfortable till late morning