Poison Ivy Treatment: 4 Home Remedies For You

How would you feel if you touched a plant and after some days you observed your skin sensing irritation and spots of rashes? The feeling would undoubtedly not be pleasant, right?

Such skin irritation due to rashes can often be a brutal result of being exposed to a plant named poison ivy. There are also some other poisonous plants like poison oak and poison sumac with similar post-skin infections.

But there is no need to worry; these unwanted effects of poison ivy can be tackled through a docket of poison ivy treatment.

Poison Ivy Plant

Ivy is a poisonous glossy-leafed plant, scientifically known by the name of Toxicodendron 1radicans, and grows in the form of a tiny shrub that can climb on a small tree, plant, and straight poles.

Poison Ivy Identification - How to Identify Poison Ivy Plants

Primarily, poison ivy is of Asian and Eastern North American origin and can be easily found in the regions of the United States, excluding parts of Hawaii, Alaska, and the West Coast.

This plant ends up in an allergic reaction when it comes in contact with the plant oil.

Why does Poison Ivy have such Repercussions?

An oil called urushiol 2characterizes the reason behind Ivy’s poison. This plant oil is the main villain behind the poison ivy rash, blisters, and skin irritation.

The oil resin of urushiol is found in the roots, stems, and leaves of the poisonous plant of ivy.

Interestingly, ivy, oak, and sumac have the same reason behind the irritating consequences of their exposure, that is, the plant oil urushiol.

This plant oil tends to get stuck easily with several surfaces like human skin, the fur of a pet, and many types of equipment that come in contact with leafy species like garden tools.

As soon as the urushiol comes in contact with your skin, it sticks to the area of exposure. This leads to your immune system reacting to the bond over your skin area in the form of an allergic reaction.

5 Symptoms of Poison Ivy

The ill effects of the ivy plant ( be it poison ivy, oak, or sumac ) can be rightly treated through poison ivy treatment on the early detection of some evident symptoms.

1. Skin Irritation

Your skin starts irritating, and the beginning of this irritation can begin as early as some hours or as late as a few weeks.

2. Poison Ivy Rash

The area of your skin that comes in contact with the poison ivy plant turns into a mat of rashes that appear red and often can lead to swelling.

3. Blisters

A blister is a form of a small bubble that generates over the surface of the skin. Poison ivy also leads to such blisters.

4. Itching

The rashes are itchy, which adds to the discomfort due to skin irritation3.

5. Difficulty in Breathing

Poison ivy is not harmful just to the human skin. If one has inhaled the smoke of poison ivy, then it severely affects the respiratory tract. This leads to a little difficulty in inhaling.

Poison Ivy Symptoms and Treatment

But despite all these harsh impacts, the good news is that there are many ways of outsmarting poison ivy. Let’s trace the route towards poison ivy treatment.

4 Home Remedies for Treating Poison Ivy

1. The Remedy of Oatmeal Baths

It is scientifically acclaimed that oatmeal has properties of anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation. This makes it suitable for a sense of inflammation over the area of skin infection.

For getting relief from poison ivy skin rash4, add oatmeal to slightly warm water and take a bath with this water.

2. The Remedy of Cold Compress

The question arises about how to make cold and wet compresses by yourself. Wet compresses help in reducing irritation and itching over the skin.

Here are the steps to make a compress:

  1. Take a cloth and dip it in cool water for a while ( You can add aluminium acetate in severe cases of swelling and itching ).
  2. Squeeze extra water from the cloth.
  3. Now, apply this cold-watered cloth to the affected area.
  4. You can repeat the above steps as many times as required to feel relieved.

How to Make a Cold Compress

3. The Remedy of Baking Soda

Have you ever baked a cake? But have you ever wondered that such a predominant ingredient of the cake could be a wonderful home remedy for poison ivy treatment?

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda, a natural cleaning salt, can be added to bathing water and can fruitfully act as a treatment for poison ivy.

4. The Remedy of Calamine Lotion

Calamine lotion is not purely a treatment for poison ivy, but it can help in relieving symptoms of poison ivy reaction. Apply calamine lotion5 as it is very effective for minor skin irritations.

Apart from calamine lotion, all hydrocortisone creams reduce swelling, itching, and irritation due to any poisonous plant reaction.

When to See a Doctor?

It is always advisable to go and consult a doctor if there is a severe reaction, symptoms are going out of your control, and you are not getting cured even by the home remedies for poison ivy treatment.

Go and see a doctor if:

  1. You observe widespread rash, even near the mouth, eyes, or genital area.
  2. The itching is unbearable.
  3. You are not able to breathe normally.
  4. Symptoms don’t reduce within six days.
  5. You feel feverish, measurably, more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Symptoms are getting more severe with time.

Key Takeaways

If you already know how harsh poison ivy is, isn’t it better to prevent infection in the first place?

Definitely, it is. So, mark the following preventive measures against poison ivy:

  1. If you are working in places like a garden or an open area with the presence of plants ( poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac ), wear protective attire, such as clothes with long sleeves or gloves.
  2. Wash everything thoroughly that has a possibility of coming in contact with the poisonous plants. For instance, wash gardening tools after you use them.
  3. If you identify poison ivy growing in your garden or nearby parks, try removing it carefully. You can also seek professional help. Do not burn it, as the poisonous fumes can lead to many painful consequences.

5 Ways to Get Rid of Poison Ivy Plants From Your Lawn | The Home Depot


1. When does Poisonous Ivy go away?

Ans. In general poisonous ivy’s effect goes away in 1-3 weeks. In the first week itself, the blisters start to go away and the rash also starts to fade.

2. Suggest the best cream for treating Poisonous Ivy.

Ans. The two best creams for treating poisonous ivy are calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream.

3. Does aloe vera help in treating poisonous ivy?

Ans. Aloe vera helps in soothing the area which is affected by poisonous ivy.

  1. Li, Mei-Chen, et al. “Traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Toxicodendron vernicifluum (Stokes) FA Barkley-a review.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 267 (2021): 113476. ↩︎
  2. Je, Hyeondoo, and Jongok Won. “Natural urushiol as a novel under-water adhesive.” Chemical Engineering Journal 404 (2021): 126424. ↩︎
  3. Fusco, Laura, et al. “Skin irritation potential of graphene-based materials using a non-animal test.” Nanoscale 12.2 (2020): 610-622. ↩︎
  4. Lovell, Christopher, Evy Paulsen, and Jean-Pierre Lepoittevin. “Adverse skin reactions to plants and plant products.” Contact Dermatitis (2020): 1-49. ↩︎
  5. Meng, Yuan-Cui, Jin-Chao Fan, and Wei-Ni Bian. “Effectiveness of calamine lotion as an adjunctive therapy to mometasone furoate ointment in the treatment of infant eczema: A retrospective study.” Medicine 101.35 (2022): e30237. ↩︎

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