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If I'm struck by poison ivy, what should I do? Is there a way to suppress the itch?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Have you tried Dock Leaves? They're well known as a way of soothing Nettle stings and might help.

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+1 for Dock Leaves. I always used them as a kid when I inevitably was stung while chasing cows in the fields. I used to think they were called Doc Leaves, short for Doctor! –  John Doyle Jan 25 '12 at 12:14

I use both cortisone and benedryl cream. One reduces swelling, the other reduces the allergic reaction. Make sure to only use water soluble creams! Petroleum based lotions will block the skin from naturally expunging the poison ivy oil.

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I have heard anecdotally that excessive use of (or the use of high potency) topical Benadryl can cause some adverse reactions. I personally got what appeared to be (at least presented like) hives after treating my poison ivy rash with very strong cream. Anyone heard that or have any real evidence for it? –  Greg.Ley Mar 7 '12 at 16:19

Benadryl cream works about as good as anything for me.

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I believe ice can help. It's a local anesthetic, reduces swelling, and closes the pores, keeping the poison out. Of course, it can be hard to find ice..

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Jewelweed should do the job, if you have it locally. It usually grows close to the poison ivy.

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Plantain weed not to be confused with the bannana like fruit.Crush the leaves and rub it on.It is usually growing on the edge of roadways or compacted trails.

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Know how to identify it and avoid. that is the only way. Long pants and socks will help, but if you get it on them and use your hands in contact, surprise .. and then ...

Homeopathic remedies sound fun but the only way to over come poison ivy is with the expensive soaps that enzymatically break down urushiol oil, the oil that causes the irritation. Anything else is going to cause it to spread.

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None of the remedies listed here are homeopathic in nature. –  Jonathan Patt Jul 14 at 18:00
so what would you call Plantain weed crush the leaves and rub it onIt is usually growing on the edge of roadways or compacted trails. or Jewelweed should do the job,if you have it locally. It usually grows close to the poison ivy .... these sound like hill medicine to me besides they simply don't work. poison ivy reactions are entirely due to urushiol oil until you break down the chemical it will continue to inflamed the skin. –  SkipBerne Jul 14 at 20:10
and dock leaves. sound pretty homeopathic to me. –  SkipBerne Jul 14 at 20:18
You may be confused about what homeopathy is. I suggest you read up on it. It is confirmed quackery, unrelated to natural remedies (some of which, but not all, are quackery). –  Jonathan Patt Jul 14 at 20:24
the point is that if you really want to get rid of poison ivy you have to get the EXPENSIVE ENZYME solution. $30. other wise you just spread it around with either moms, grand moms or commercially available quackery. –  SkipBerne Jul 14 at 20:37

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