37 answers

How to soothe pain or remedy poison ivy?

Hello moms! I was wondering if anyone has any helpful tips on dealing with poison ivy? I woke up yesterday with it and it is spreading like wildfire on me. I have a doctors appt today, but I need some relief!!! Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?


There are many different home remedies that moms suggested, please refer to the article for more inputs. But you're best to consult a doctor right away.

So What Happened?™

I am so grateful for such good advice from everyone! I did try some of the remedies and went to my family doctor and got a steroid shot, but that didn't seem to work and I woke up worse yesterday. My mom brought me some more topical things to try last night and as soon as she saw me she took me to the Emergency Room because I was so red and swollen and was having some trouble swallowing. The doctor said it was the second worse case he'd ever seen and gave me a Benadryl shot and another Cortisone shot, which seemed to help right away. He also put me on the steroid stepdown pill. I must say that this morning, even though I still look a mess, I feel so much relief! The swelling is down and the itch is not nearly as bad. I am still using the IvyDry and Caladryl and am hopefully on the downslope of this horrible experience. I want to thank everyone that responded for you support and advice! Mamasource is definitely a great resource!!

Featured Answers

Oatmeal baths help soothe .. but Calamine lotion/creams. Unless you get a prescription from the dr. I know my oldest daughter gets it really bad and she loves the oatmeal baths.

Ivy-Dry Extra Strength Super Itch Relief Spray

It's the best stuff we've found. Available at most drug stores.

Good luck!


I feel for you. I am allergic to poison ivy also. I've been treating my break-out this week. I use IVAREST. You can buy it over the counter. It is made by the Blistex Company. It gives immediate relief from the itching and helps the rash heal faster. It has calamine in it that helps dry up the blisters. Honestly, it really works! AF

More Answers

IVY DRY is the best treatment we have found. My brother-in-law is so allergic that if he just happens to be in the vicinity (not actually touching it), he breaks out. He swears by it and it is available in both cream and liquid (regular and extra strength in both forms). It works for him and for my son too. In addition to immediate relief once you have poision ivy (or others), he also uses it as a preventative if he may come in contact. He rubs it on BEFORE he goes in the woods to hunt, then immediately after showering once he returns.

Hi S.. You poor thing! My husband is suffering from the same right now and he uses Ivarest. If it gets really bad (I used to be allergic when I was a kid and it would spread to my tongue, throat, eyes) - you can get a prescription from a doctor. I used to also do the tub soak with oatmeal bath for itchy skin rashes - by Aveeno I believe.

For immediate relief, like on fingers or arm - I used to run it under extremely hot water - - burns so good and then the itch is gone for awhile. Works with a hairdryer as well - by you have to be careful not to scorch hair!

Good luck!

Hi S.,
Hope you have been to the doctor by now and have gotten some relief. A powder you can buy over the counter called Domeboro can be used as a soak or compress, and helps with the itching and inflammation. Benadryl will help you sleep through the itching. Your doctor might need to give you an oral and/or topical steroid especially if you have sensitive skin or excema. Good luck -- poison ivy rash is miserable!!

i found rubbing alcohol to be wonderfully relieving. i've been pregnant or breast feeding since 2005, essentially, and live on 3 and 1/2 acres. so i've had poison ivy several times but was unable to take any medication to clear it up. the alcohol is very soothing and cooling. i just kept cotton balls and a large bottle of the alcohol w/ me and rubbed it on as often as i needed. the doctor can give you a shot or a pill (steroid, i think). my husband has had to do both at different times. the shot was super fast but both worked well. hope that helps!

Crush up a Benadryl tablet(you can also open a caplet and pour the powder) and mix it with hydrocortizone cream. Topically the Benadryl won't make you drowsy. "Hyland's" makes a dissolvable tablet for poison ivy/oak. You can get it at any herbal store, it has virtually no taste and works within the first couple doses to stop the itch and dry up the rash. The joys of the great outdoors, good luck!

Aveeno Oatmeal baths daily and their anti-itch cream directly on the spots has helped me in the past. Taking an antihistamine orallly can also help speed up the process of healing. Wear cotton lounge pants at night to help the itching by putting a barrier between the legs (from sliding together). Cotton gauze wraps can also help, if you have a tendency to see it and scatch it. Try not to scratch the bumps, it will get the poison under your nails and help spread it to other areas. Letting the sun bake the spots helps with the drying up of them, however they may itch a bit because of sweat getting on them. Good luck with your healing, it usually only last about a week to two weeks.

You have received lots of great rememdies, one I found helpful was Buji. Also, wash everything you have worn including shoes. I got it once on the back of my legs from the dog laying on the sofa, two other possible sources of spreading. Good luck.

I've been plagued by poison ivy this summer and have found that if I take a non-drowsy product, (I use Alavert) it relieves the itching for many hours. Try Technu for washing the area/s, a product that can be purchased at any drug store. I also put ice in a ziploc bag and hold it on the affected area, as the cold really helps. Anything hot will sting and increase the discomfort. It takes FOREVER for this to clear up, but know that you are not suffering alone. BTW, new spots can appear for up to 14 days after your exposure. Bummer, I know.

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