Patient Comments: Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac - Treatment


What treatments were effective for your poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Toughmudder, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 06

I am a drywall finisher. About 10 years ago it was about 105 degrees in the house I was working in and I was covered head to toe in poison ivy. I was in so much pain, and the only thing I had was drywall mud. It relieved the itching and cleared it up pretty fast. I've used it every summer since. All purpose 'green lid' drywall mud works the best. You're welcome.

Comment from: FrostyLemon, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

Scrub poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash area for 30 seconds with Tecnu, Zanfel, or Dawn soap. Use a terry cloth or mildly abrasive towel to firmly wipe the area dry; pat dry will not remove the oils! Apply topical analgesic. I prefer unscented max strength Aspercreme with lidocaine, as it numbs. Take an oral antihistamine, Claritin for day, Benadryl for night. Apply a layer of zinc oxide (found in 'natural'/mineral sunscreens). This will form a breathable barrier and keep the oozing dry for hours.

Comment from: Chynna, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 25

I work around poison ivy a lot. As soon as I get in, I put my clothes in the washer, apply straight liquid soap to limbs and wash off in warm water. Heat opens pores, cold repels oil. Rinse and repeat. Mechanics use straight soap because it combines and absorbs oil but water repels and spreads it. If rash appears use real aloe gel - amazing results! But you must get the real certified stuff (I have found Lily of the Desert a good product with certification seal). For bad cases use cortisone creams.

Comment from: Nell, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I am 52 years old and have gotten poison ivy every year of my life. Recently I found a solution that works amazingly! Cold water and bleach! As soon as possible, I take a cool shower. Instead of soap, I put bleach on my rag/poof. I just wash normally like I would with soap. The sooner you can do this, the better the results. Hot water opens your pores and soap breaks down the oil, thus spreading it over other parts of your body. Cool water keeps your pores closed and bleach removes the oil.

Comment from: Bill Runions, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 10

My mom used to get an OTC drug called Otox. You mixed it with water and increased the dosage gradually over a week. It gave me immunity to poison oak and believe me there was plenty around. But this was approximately 55 years ago! Doubt if you could find it today.

Comment from: Momma's4boys, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

So, I'm about 8 days in and have managed to keep my ivy rash localized. It's really hard not to scratch and I find myself raking my nails in circles around the affected area often. So to stop myself I instead cover the rash with a clean gauze pad and simply press down. Any pus is quickly wiped away and I wash with water as hot as I can handle (which intensifies the itching). Hold it under water as long as I can stand and then wash with dish detergent like Dawn and repeat the water as hot as I can handle for as long as I can stand. Then pat dry and cover with a bandage so if I bump I to anything it doesn't get ripped up (which has happened 5 times thus far in the past 8 days). I have a few bumps pop up here and there in far off parts (I'm talking on my foot where it all originally started on my wrist). I've kept them local by not scratching. Each bump was gone in 3 or 4 days without scratching at all (save for the first time I noticed them). My husband tried baking soda with rubbing alcohol and vinegar. Rub the baking soda and vinegar into the rash and wash with vinegar. He howled so loud it made me jump from the other side of the house on a different floor level! And all it did was dry out the blisters and temporarily stop the itch. It still spread and he still has it 8 days later. So he is washing every single day like that; and still is only temporary stopping the itch and popping the blisters.

Comment from: [email protected], 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

When I moved to the Washington DC area, I was getting rash from poison ivy a lot. Seems like I have built up an immunity but got some just a week ago in my yard. Jewelweed oil I have found to be the best remedy; however you must apply it immediately when you discover it. It is an oil you can only buy at a health food store but worth keeping in your house. It really works. I saw where someone made their own jewelweed potion at home. I wonder what is used and how to do it.

Comment from: Emt OH, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 11

Tecnu cleanser breaks the oil and helps with itching from poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash.

Comment from: kwb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I live in the woods in Florida and get poison ivy year round from second hand contact from cats. I get severe reactions but have found Zanfel to be the best over the counter product, bar none, in its treatment. It is expensive, but worth it.


Poison Ivy See a picture of poison ivy, a rash from poisonous plants as well as other various skin conditions in various degrees andf forms See Images