How to Cure Poison Ivy


In any wooded area, surrounding fauna present several dangers, including the possibility of touching poison ivy. This plant secretes a skin-irritating oil that causes an itchy, red rash. For some, coming in contact with poison ivy causes a mild reaction. But for those who are allergic to the plant, the rash can cause large, pus-filled blisters, or swelling that may restrict breathing. While only time will cure poison ivy, there are several remedies to ease the discomfort.

Step 1

Take a shower immediately after coming in contact with the plant to remove the harmful oils from the skin. In some cases this will keep a rash from forming. Apply a medicine dedicated to poison ivy treatment that removes the oil from the skin.

Step 2

Apply wet compresses to the affected area to cool the burning and itching. If cold compresses are not available, soak the affected area in cold water.

Step 3

Soak your body in a bath tub filled with oatmeal, or an oatmeal solution made specifically for poison ivy treatment such as a colloidal oatmeal bath. The bath should be cool or warm, never hot or scalding as this will irritate the rash.

Step 4

Cover the rash after soaking with an anti-itching solution such as calamine lotion. This soaks up the oil as well as dries blisters as they form.

Step 5

Take an antihistamine tablet to relieve itching. Several 24-hour tablets are available in over-the-counter forms.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Compress


  • Web MD: Poison Ivy
  • Poison Ivy: Poison Ivy Fact
  • Dr. Greene: Tips for Treating Poison Ivy
Keywords: poison ivy, ivy reaction, poison relief

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.