22 answers

Poison Ivy - How Do I Get Rid of It!

Oh, I'm in such a state! I brushed against Poison Ivy or Sumac the other day and am really suffering.

I've tried everything over the counter. So far rubbing alcohol and gold bond cream have soothed, but waking up in the mornings, all spots have spread and getting worse.

Any suggestions or advice would be MOST helpful! Thank goodness no-one else is allergic!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

IVY BLOCK works. I put it on before going out in the garden and WOW, no ivy so far!!! Thanks everyone for all your help. I sincerely appreciate your responses!

Featured Answers

Super Ivy dry. My mom had to use it a while back. She had it in her eyes, all on her chest, stomach, legs, arms, everywhere!! It dried it up super quick!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi F.,

I use a raw potato when I get it. I won't help the itching, but it will dry it up so it will go away faster.

Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

my son got into poison ivy at my sisters house. we got some medicine from the doctor called triamcinolone acetonide cream. it seemed to work really well. also ive heard aloe vera medicine will work. there are some others over the counter that you can use but i cant think of them right now. my mom told me to get some baking soda mixed with a little bit of water or to try rubbing a peeled potato over the area. the white stuff on the potato when it dries she said soothes the itching. just food for thought. hope it works, if not i would call your doctor and ask what kind of otc meds will work for poison ivy. talk to you later, R.

1 mom found this helpful

heat makes it worse, so try to stay indoors as much as you can...

1 mom found this helpful

HELLO

go to wal-greens and get poison ivy soap it works on my grandson and he gets it so bad we end up going to the dr and getting two shots a year for it. Now that we use the soap we haven't had to get the shot. It is about 5.00 but worth the money. GOOD LUCK

1 mom found this helpful

my brother and i used to get it all the time. the only thing you can really do is to not scratch it. if you use the benedryl or calamine lotion it will keep it from itching and will help you to not itch. it spreads because of the oil that is in the blisters. the more you scratch the more it spreads. it usually take about 1 week to 2 weeks for it to go away. I understand how fruterating it is. one thing to remember is to wash your hands all the time, it will keep you from spreading it to others. if it doesn't start to go away by next week i'd call you dr. they may be able to give you something. hope this helps. i fell your pain. i'm itching myself thinking about it.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi. To stop itching and get "control" of the ivy is a good ole fashioned BLEACH BATH. Run about half a tub of water with one full cub of bleach and have a soak. Do not use a washcloth, it scratched the skin and makes it worse, just use your hand and have a good sit in it ( will not hurt private parts ) Sometimes I flip over to my belly and soak like that for a little while too to get my arms under the water. Will not come out stinking like bleach and do not use soap with the bleach bath. May sting a little if you have an open sore but lasts only a second. THIS DOES WORK and about three days you will notice a huge difference.

1 mom found this helpful

Go see your doctor. He can give you a shot and a steroid pack. Otherwise, it takes me a good 2 weeks to get rid of it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Super Ivy dry. My mom had to use it a while back. She had it in her eyes, all on her chest, stomach, legs, arms, everywhere!! It dried it up super quick!

1 mom found this helpful

I get poison ivy too. My poison ivy usually goes to every spot I ever had it before it goes away. I did find one item that works great. It takes the itching out almost immediately. it is called ZANFEL. It is expensive, but works. You have to rub it in, you make sure you rub it in your haands first with a little water to activate it. Follow the directions. Calomine is pink coloring that does nothing, but make kids look cute.

1 mom found this helpful

When I had a full-body case of hives, my MIL told me to wrap myself in a wet sheet that had been soaked in epsom salts and borax to stop the itching. It was hard sleeping on a shower curtain on the floor, heh, but it did stop the itching. I don't know if that would work for poison ivy, but a desperate itchy person will try anything, heh. Otherwise, paint on that calomine lotion. Good luck!

J.

1 mom found this helpful

I was going to say bleach too....but my hubby didn't do the bath....he just took straight bleach on a paper towel and dabbed the areas....it dries it out really quickly....he had to do it a few times a day, but it did go away.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi F.,

I use a raw potato when I get it. I won't help the itching, but it will dry it up so it will go away faster.

Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Wash everything you may have touched in the last 72 hrs. (that's how long the urishiol (sp.?) stays active. And wash them daily for the next couple of days after treatment. I TOTALLY recommend Zanfel, you can get it at Wal-Mart next to the pharmacy. Just so you don't get sticker shock it's about $26 for a 1 1/4 oz.tube. You scrub yourself with it while your in the shower (stay away from hot water for a while too, that'll spread it) and it's great because you can use it to scratch the H#ll out of yourself and it heals and soothes. If it doesn't work after a day or two just go to the doctor and get a prednisone shot or pill (steroids), no fun but they work. I am severely allergic to it, hence why I know what'll work. I wouldn't waste your time with calomine etc. Good luck I truly feel for you!

1 mom found this helpful

Steroids. A Medrol Dose pack prescribed by a physician and/or a steroid shot. Cortizone cream will help soothe the itching, which is a steroid cream. Not familiar with the Zanfel, but that's not to say it isn't the 'miracle' you're looking for. But, for the fastest, most effective, proven relief...prescription oral steroids, and/or injection. And, try not to scratch it - as already stated - the offending substance is spread from you scratching and touching another area. I developed the poison ivy rash under my arm once and discovered it came from the dog brushing against the poison ivy and then lying on my bed covers...then, it rubbed off on my underarm. YUCK! If someone burns poison ivy, for instance in a brush fire...it can be inhaled by those allergic and cause all kinds of problems. Good Luck! Poison Ivy is wicked! Get steroids.

1 mom found this helpful

You can go to the doctor and get a shot.. thats what my boyfriend has to do a couple times each summer.. i myself am not allergic to it so i have never had to deal with it.. the day after my boyfriend gets whatever shot the doctor gives him, it starts healing.

1 mom found this helpful

I always have to go to the doctor. He gives me a steroid dose pack. I take it for 7 days. The dermatologist told me you only get it from were you or your clothes have touched it.
So make sure everything is washed - shoes and all.
I am very very allergic to it.

B.

1 mom found this helpful

I have never actually had poison ivy, but one of my friends who practically gets it by looking at it swears by pouring gasoline on it. I have never tried it but he says it is the only thing that works for his super severe cases. I hope you find a cure and get to feeling better soon!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello,
My brother gets it all the time it could be in the air and he will get it. The thing he uses is bleach it will dry it out and stop the itch. You can also get in a pool the cemicals in the pool will also dry it out. well good luck and God bless.

1 mom found this helpful

There is a product called Zanfel at Walgreens or Walmart, its expensive, around 40.00 but it takes away the itching and pain within 20 minutes, for me and most people I know that have tried it. However, if you are breaking out more you may be recontaminating yourself, or it may be a systemic issue that only a physician at this point can help you with. Good luck, hope you find relief soon!!!

Here's an excerpt from an article our company's Health & Safety Manager sent "Axiom Medical Monthly Newsletter - Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac". Hope you get well soon!
S.
***************************************************************

...What is the treatment for poisoning from these plants?

The best treatment for this malady is prevention, as unfortunately no cure is currently available. Usually, the rash will clear by 14 days and treatment is directed at controlling the itching. Antihistamines (like Atarax or Benadryl) taken orally can be very beneficial. For mild cases, topical cortisone can be soothing as can cool compresses of Burrow's solution.

Cortisone medications are given by mouth if the rash is severe. Generally, these are given early on and only if there is extensive exposure or severe skin sensitivity. If the skin becomes infected, antibiotics may be necessary. The blister fluid does not contain any of the toxic agent and will not spread the rash.

***How can poisoning from these plants be prevented?

The only true way to prevent this miserable problem is to avoid contact with the toxic oil of the plants. Long pants and sleeves are very important if you are venturing into an unknown wilderness area. If possible, wear gloves, boots and a hat.

***Learn to recognize these plants and avoid them.***

A new barrier cream called Ivy Block or bentoquantam 5% can be applied to the skin prior to exposure and will form a protective layer on top of the skin. The drug Trental may decrease the rash slightly, but needs to be taken before exposure to the plants. Immunization for poison ivy, oak or sumac is not available at this time.

Avoidance is the key.

***What can be done if exposed?

Wash all exposed areas with cold running water as soon as you can reach a stream, lake or garden hose. If you can do this within five minutes, the water may keep the urushiol from contacting your skin and spreading to other parts of your body. Within the first 30 minutes, soap and water are helpful.

Wash your clothing with a garden hose outside or in a washing machine with detergent. If you bring the clothes into your house, be careful that you do not transfer the urushiol to rugs or furniture. You may also dry clean contaminated clothes.

Because urushiol can remain active for months, wash camping, sporting, fishing or hunting gear that was in contact with the oil.

Relieve the itching of mild rashes by taking cool showers and applying over-the-counter preparations like calamine lotion or Burrow's solution. Soaking in a lukewarm bath with an oatmeal or baking soda solution also may ease itching and dry oozing blisters. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams are not strong enough to have any effect on poison ivy rashes.
In severe cases, prescription cortisone can halt the reaction if used early. If you know you have been exposed and have developed severe reactions in the past, consult your dermatologist. He or she may prescribe cortisone or other medicines that can prevent blisters from forming. If you receive treatment with a cortisone-like drug, you should take it longer than six days, or the rash may return.

***Common Myths About Poison Ivy

Scratching poison ivy blisters will spread the rash. False. The fluid in the blisters will not spread the rash. Before blisters form, the rash is spread by urushiol on your hands, for instance, by scratching your nose or wiping your forehead. Avoid excessive scratching of your blisters. Your fingernails may carry bacteria that could cause an infection.

Poison ivy rash is "catching." False. The rash is a reaction to urushiol. The rash cannot pass from person to person; only urushiol can be spread by contact.

Once allergic, always allergic to poison ivy. False. A person's sensitivity changes over time, even from season to season. People who were sensitive to poison ivy as children may not be allergic as adults.

Dead poison ivy plants are no longer toxic. False. Urushiol remains active for up to several years. Never handle dead plants that look like poison ivy.

Rubbing weeds on the skin can help. False. Usually, prescription cortisone preparations are required to decrease the itching.

One way to protect against poison ivy is by keeping yourself covered outdoors. True. However, urushiol can stick to your clothes, which your hands can touch and then spread the oil to uncovered parts of your body. For uncovered areas, barrier creams are sometimes helpful. Learn to recognize poison ivy so you can avoid contact with it.

You are talking to the queen of poison ivy. I have been hospitalized twice in my lifetime.

Steroids at the doctor as soon as you can get in. Whether it's a shot or dosage pack, but get it soon, getting in your ears , eyes, or throat is not a pretty picture.

"Ivydry" is the best for drying up once it starts. There are two soaps that work wonders, "Tecnu" and "Zanfel" they remove the oil so that it doesn't spread anymore. THEY WORK. Tecnu is cheaper and works just as well and last longer than Zanfel, but I recommend both.

Now that you know you are allergic, next winter take a preventive measure and get with compound pharmacist and they can supply you with something that will help you from getting it. You can only take it during the summer when the plant is dormant. I started doing that 5 or 6 years ago and I have it a few times, but only a small spot and never spread.

Anytime my dad would get poison ivy he would have to go to the doctor and get some kind of shot to get rid of it. Some people can get over it with just creams but you might need to see a doctor.
Hope this helps
J.

Hi my name is N. Duncan and I am with a company called MELALEUCA and it is natural products I know that we have stuff to get rid of poison ivy you are more than welcome to give me a call and I would be happy to help ###-###-####

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