10 Types of Poison Ivy Treatment You’ll Be Thankful to Know

Get relief from the rash without resorting to drugstore treatments with these natural poison ivy treatments.

Cucumber calms the rash

It's not exactly a day at the spa, but using cucumber slices is a simple poison ivy treatment. Either place slices of this cooling veggie on the affected area, or mash it up to make a cucumber "paste" that you apply to the rash for soothing relief. Here are some other easy home remedies for rash relief.

Banana peel cools the itch

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Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on poison ivy-affected skin is an old wives' tale that may have some truth to it; the peel's cooling qualities could provide itch relief—here are other creative uses for bananas. An application of watermelon rind is another poison ivy treatment some people swear by.

Apple cider vinegar kills the poison

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With its many medicinal qualities, it's no surprise that apple cider vinegar has also been shown to be an effective poison ivy treatment. Try soaking a brown paper bag in apple cider vinegar, then place the bag on the rash to draw out the toxins. Here are some other incredible benefits of using apple cider vinegar.

Baking soda speeds up recovery

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To make a treatment for 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. If the blisters are oozing, 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. Do not apply on or near your eyes. (A less potentially messy way to get relief: Soak in a cool bath with 1 cup of baking soda mixed in.) Here are some other brilliant home uses for baking soda.

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Oatmeal bath soothes the itch

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A soak in an oatmeal bath is a classic poison ivy treatment. Grind 1 cup oatmeal in your blender until it's a fine powder, then pour it into a piece of cheesecloth or the foot section of a clean, old nylon stocking. 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 that applying the oatmeal pouch directly to the rash gives you even more relief. Oatmeal baths are also great for eczema and psoriasis relief.

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 treatment. Here are more healing uses for aloe vera.

Rubbing alcohol prevents spreading

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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. Swiping it on your skin immediately after contact can slow down and minimize the discomfort by preventing urushiol, the chemical responsible for the rash, from fully penetrating your skin.

Lemon juice eliminates oil

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Some people swear by lemon juice, a natural astringent, as a poison ivy treatment. Apply it soon after contact with the irritating leaf, before the plant's oil has time to fully get into your skin. (Did you know you could use lemon to clean your home?)

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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. Avoid hot water, which can irritate the skin.

Cold compresses reduce rash

Cold-compressedMonika Wisniewska/Shutterstock
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 rash-reduction effect; soak a cotton ball and pat it on. If you need relief from a weepy poison ivy rash, try strongly brewed tea (here are some other benefits of tea you didn't know about). Dip a cotton ball into the tea, dab it on the affected area, and let it air-dry. Repeat as needed.

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