My Home Remedies

Poison Oak Home Remedies

29 Home Remedies for Poison Oak



I am a lady over 50 that likes to go hiking ...the first time I got Poison Oak rash was 8 years ago...It was mostly on my arms and ..I ...spread it to my face and legs later... Now...unfortunately ..I have gotten it 7 different times since....some strong.. some mild...and I was always trying to be prepared. For those of you that do not understand the whole mechanics of this plant...I will explain to you in simple terms what it is....( I am experienced)...The plant is 3 leaves together ( see pictures on a web site) is light green ...summer it is dark green...autumn it turns red...winter it becomes brown and can fall off and leave bare branches..

Also ..dead leaves can blow into piles of non toxic leaves and not be noticed. ALL OF THIS PLANT.. contains this oil..".Urushiol",..When it touches anything it will stick to cane....yard tools....What is it like ?.........poke a tooth pick

into some peanut butter...then wipe the tooth pick on a napkin 5 different places....each time you wipe.. it spreads less and less

By the time you have wiped it 8 times there is very little peanut butter on the last place wiped. This is what this oil is like but it is invisible....! And this is how you spread it on yourself..The first place it touches leaves the concentrated dose.. and will pop up between 24 and 48 hours later...also the other places you spread it to will pop up longer times as it becomes less concentrated. You cannot spread it to another person if the oil has been washed off...Only the oil can be spread.

The best thing to do when outdoors..where it may grow..wear long pants and covered shoes or boots..and yard gloves....long sleeves is good also... if it is not hot...or cut the toe off old socks and put them on exposed skin on your arms...

When you return from the woods...carefully remove all outdoor items and put them separate to be washed...

Now the gloves will help protect you from this oil...but if the oil is on the gloves and you rub your chin ...24 hours later a rash will appear..You have to pay attention as to what you touch and to remove items later that might have touched one small leaf..

You also need to wash off shoes with cold water and a grease cutter like Dawn Soap also tools or any other type object..the oil can stay there for several days.

If you by accident, your skin comes in contact with a twig and you are not sure if it is P.O.......within 10 or 15 min. you can use a degreaser and cold water to wash yourself off...don't use hot water and do not rub into skin..You want to wash off this oil as soon as possible to keep it from soaking into the least with cool water.......this is the first battle..

Always wash off first with cool water and a degreaser if possible no matter how long you have been in contact with this oil...Remember also ..if you hiked out for the day and come back to your car and touch your steering wheel with this oil....Later ...the next day ..THIS OIL WILL STILL ON YOUR STEERING WHEEL...You may then spread it to other places.... a day later without knowing it.

To be around this plant is like going to war...

NOW....Let's say 24 hours passed and a red rash appears...and you have bathed already before you realized you got P.O. You can follow all of the tips listed here on the web..with ointments and home remedies and some will work better for a lot of people and some won't. It all depends on a individuals own chemistry.. the best to alleviate the itching...which is an antihistamine but what I have done....and this depends on how much oil was on my skin at the time of contact...let's say on my arm...

Later I wash with a degreaser...and hot hot as I can take it..and pat dry...then spread medicated powder on the area...and if it is leaking I wrap in gauze and put on a clean cut out toe sock. If it is only a mild case...I leave it open to the air. I found that I have used heat from hot water ..or I use my hair dryer to blow over the may burn a bit and then have a big itch then back to burn and then I move the arm if it gets too hot...What this does is dries out the oils in the skin and also releases the natural histamines in your skin and calms the itching.

I mostly have been doing this when I found out in 24 hours I have P.O.

But I DO try to be careful when I go out into nature...Look at all plants you come in contact with and study pictures of this plant and know where it grows and avoid it as much as possible...

Where I have the most problem is a small brown twig or leaf gets stuck on my pants leg ...then after I remove my gloves and clothing..I have picked off this small leaf and tossed it....only to realize later....I made a big mistake........Soooo please be aware of Mother Nature she can get revenge sometimes........ Good Luck


Hi everyone. I recently had and am still recovering from poison ivy rash and infection. I have read everything from this and many other websites that I found online. At first I did not even know that it was a poison ivy rash and when the first blisters showed on my right arm I just thought that it was an insect bite and did not pay much attention to it. Probably by now you figured that this was my first poison ivy rash ever. So these two blisters on my arm aggravated me because they were itching so badly and I decided to pop them thinking this would solve the problem. Then, this two blisters multiplied and started inching even more and soon after big area of my arm around the blisters turned red and very swollen and more and more blisters came up. I tried not to scratch them, but it was itching so bad and many of them started oozing. I went to the local Walgreens for benadryl with antihistamine for the allergic reaction I was having. The pharmacist there saw my arm and told me that it was infected and I need to go to the emergency room for immediate care. I was so mad at myself for not taking care of the situation before my arm got infected. So I got the Benadryl went home and started thinking. I read that a steroid antibiotic is needed in this case but I could not get it over the counter. I knew I needed antibiotic and something topical to help with the infection. Then I came up with a plan which actually saved me from going to the hospital and being needled and fed these steroid antibiotics. I took two Benadryl tablets every 6 hours and two tablets zyflamend nighttime first day morning, noon and evening and after this just two in the morning and two in the evening. That topicaly I cleaned the infected area with rubbing alcohol 70\\% every 2-3 hours for the first day and after each cleaning I put ichthammol ointment 20\\% on the infected areas which is drawing the infection out, so it started oozing even more. Two days was oozing really badly but on the third day was oozing just a little and almost all swelling was gone. Now the fourth day is approaching. I am all better. No pain and no itch when I take my Benadryl on time. I just did my rubbing alcohol cleaning and speeded some ichthammol ointment. I will cover now loosely with something these areas because of the oozing and the ichthammol ointment(which is black and stinky and you cannot wash it if it dents on your clothes or sheets) and I am going to sleep. Hopefully by tomorrow all the infection will be gone and I will not need to apply the ichthammol ointment or clean with rubbing alcohol anymore.

I hope that this will be useful to you as it was tome. It saved me a trip to the ER and all the medical bills I had to pay afterwards :)!!!

Be aware that the ichthammol ointment is not available in the stores I got mine via Walgreens but I hat to order it and wait to be delivered. It was a good think that I already had it when all of the above happened. So order ahead if you are getting poison ivy/oak rash frequently.


Everybody says don't use bleach! Bull!!! For all those safety freaks out there, u'll love it burns for a while but the itch is gone!! All night!! It kills everything in it!


Fela naptha soap, in laundry isle at Harris teeter & recently Giant. Im a professional landscaper, if I know theres aa chance I've come in contact, I wash all exposed areas with the soap, the sooner the better, but preferably within a couple hours & it removes the oils so it doesn't develop. (Rubbing alcohol should do the same)
Also i know this works but wouldn't recommend to people with severe reactions: A native American woman told me to take a berry, wrap it in cheese, & swallow. In July poison oak(& ivy) get small white berries, and last summer I swallowed 2 or 3. (1st I put in cheese, next time a week later I just swallowed with iced tea) And I didnt get poison oak being around it a lot (I didnt try rolling around in it though either). Ive heard you can chew the baby leaves also to build your resistance.


If you live in a state where bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L. )grows, which is the main ingredient in black salve, get a fresh root, wash the dirt off, and cut the end of the root with a knife. Put the red juice right on top of the blisters three times a day. It helps if you mix it with fresh jewelweed juice. (Impatiens capensis Meerb.)
I've used this remedy for years and it works for me.


Best thing I have found for poison oak or ivy is to go swimming in a pool for at least an hour preferably longer. The chlorine in the pool water will dry it up. If it is summer the ocean would probably work although I have not tried that.


If you are reading this then it is too late for the first part of my advice this time but will help you avoid this terrible experience again. If you THINK you have gotten into any poison plant go take a cool shower and use IVAREST asap on your entire body. This breaks up the oils that cause the rash and will prevent the outbreak all together. Now that you have the rash you need to clean the oils off and keep it dry. If you do not have the money for this med (Avarest is only about $6 at Walmart (there are more expensive treatments that work extremely well but this works if you are diligent)) or you may not be able to get to a store soon, try this: Menthol in just about any liquid or semi-liquid like mentholatum will help break down the oils. If you don't have that, try Dawn dish soap to wash the entire area and then pat dry and keep dry. Anything that normally drys your skin can help until you get the proper treatment. Then use calamine to cover until the next time you need to treat it. Avoid clothing that rubs. Do not cover unless absolutely necessary. Good luck to you.

BTW, I have had poison Ivy and Oak since I was about 11 and once so bad that the steroid shot they gave me nearly stopped my heart. I had both eyes swollen shut and there was not a single inch of my body that was not covered in oozing blisters. The longest episode of rashes that I have personally encountered was about 2 1/2 weeks.

Bruce from Cal

I found for poison oak the best thing is don't scratch it, because the cuts you make from scrathing take the longest time to heal. A good treatment is a sunburn remedy that contains aloe (to cure the rash) and an anti burn/itch ingredient like lanicane. You can also aub on some benydril if the itch is overwhelming. The aloe clears it up much faster than ignoring it.

sam i am

Hello! Did not know how many people would really read this but i figured my advice is valued. I have had issues with poison oak my entire life! some how i always find a way to get it on my face. In minor cases an anti itch cream will soothe until it starts to go away. but in major cases, such as billions of tiny bumps in numerous areas that feel like some ones rubbing hair on your face, the steroid treatment is the best way to go. you will have to go to a doctor but you will thank yourself for that. also if available, ask for the shot. takes about 2 more days off the healing process. When caring for it, wash it twice daily to remove any oozes off, you can wash it with johnson's vanilla oatmeal body wash, or Palmolive works almost as good. the johnsons though will almost soothe it for a little while. and always remember to PAT DRY! this is very important because if you drag a rag across those bumps, you are sure to trigger the itching. poison oak sucks but there are the ways I usually get through it. Wish you luck!


I have had terrible oozing quarter sized blisters. We don't have poison ivy in my area, and I don't get sumac, but I would imagine it would work as well on both of them. A Dr. told me about this about fifteen years ago, he said it was an old American Indian remedy. I went right out and made some up, it worked like a charm on me. I kept that jar in my fridge for a long time then finally threw it out. I made a batch up for some neigbors this year and have a jar in the fridge at our other house, but when my husband realized he had it all up and down both arms we weren't there, so I went out and found some more at this house. It cleaned it right up.

In August look for wild touch-me-nots, they have an orange blossom, and grow in damp areas. Pick some, (the whole plant) shred it in a food processor, place it in a jar in the refridgerator. When needed, grab out a gob dab on the poison, you can place the gob right back in the jar. When the juice dries, rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. The poison will dry up within 3 days. He also told me not to use a blender for shredding as he had burnt up his wifes blender. He also told me after grinding if it seemed too dry to add some glycerin. Luckily I have never had to add the glycerin. This is also good for bee stings, I wound up in a yellow jackets nest the other week and got stung about twenty times.

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