15 Reliable Home Remedies to Get Rid of Poison Ivy–Oak–Sumac Rashes

home remedies to cure poison-ivy-oak-surmac rashes

A Poison Ivy leaf is bright-green, with three leaflets and pockmarks. Poison Oak has them too. For Sumac leaves, the number of leaflets shoots up to 7-13. If you have penchant for gardening or swimming in river, then there is high probability that you have been struck by Poison Ivy at some point of time. While Poison Oak is mostly found in dry lands, Sumac leaves grow around bogs mainly. As for Poison Ivy, it can be found right next to your kitchen backdoor! In the following guide, we will discuss- the 15 best home remedies to cure Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac rashes.

Poison ivy Vs Poison Oak Vs Poison Sumac rashes

There is hardly any difference in the rashes caused by Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac. With much scrutiny, you can be able to recognize these 3 plants individually. But do keep note that, once you brush against any of these three, it can bring on flaming skin, oozing blisters and lots of pain along with it. If an area has each of these three plants, then it’s quite hard to tell (even for the doctors) – which one caused the skin rashes.

What are the causes behind Poison ivy-Oak-Sumac rashes?

  • Contacting the toxic resin urishiol-present in each of these plants
  • Smoking pot made from Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac leaves
  • Touching urishiol infected objects unknowingly
  • Getting a scratch from these indented leaves while gardening
  • Shaking hands with a person having sticky urishiol on his hands
  • Receiving it from your unassuming pet
  • Getting a respiratory allergy from a Poison Ivy infested area, if you have asthma. The result will be same.


  • Burning skin sensation
  • Inflammatory pain
  • Red, hot blisters
  • Pus-filled swellings
  • Persistent itching on the skin
  • High fever at night
  • Discoloration of skin

15 home remedies to cure poison-ivy-oak-sumac rashes

1. Running water

This is the fastest way to get instantaneous respite from the pain, followed by Oakplant poison rash. Placing your hand under a running tap will prevent the toxic chemical from spreading over other parts. 2-3 minutes of running cold-water therapy comes handy in reducing the skin irritation. Do take note that, repeating this act with hot running water shall reverse the effect. If you are stuck by Poison Oak while roaming in the beach, swimming in ocean can also release the skin discomfort.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Keeping a bottle of this liquid in your medical cabinet can come handy, if you are suffering from Poison Ivy rash. But don’t rush to open the cap and start pouring it on the affected area. Rather, take a mound of cotton, wet it with this liquid and place the cotton ball on the rash. The anti-bacterial as well as anti-fungal element in Apple Cider will suck the toxin out. If there is no cotton ball in the house, then soaking a paper bag in the solution and placing it on your skin too can yield the same result.

3. Raw, mashed potato

Take 1 or 2 of them. Peel off their skins, cut them into small slices and place on the rashes. The antibacterial property of potato will detoxify the affected skin pores, while the anti-inflammatory element brings in some much-needed respite.

4. Cold coffee

One of the best home remedies for getting rid of Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac rash would be pouring cold coffee on it. Cold coffee has a healing element for skin inflammation. The chlorogenic acid in cold coffee flaunts a soothing effect on burning skin. If you don’t have any other medicine at home, then empty out that jug of cold coffee directly on the skin.

5. Aloe Vera gel

Lathering your itching area with Aloe Vera gel is one of the best home remedies for getting rid of Poison Ivy rashes. The cooling element that aloe Vera is famous for, works miraculously to calm down the skin affected by Sumac rashes too. If you have the penchant for growing green plants indoor, then you must have Aloe Vera among them. Pluck few leaves and break them apart. Apply the jelly directly on your irritating skin. Also a store-bought Aloe Vera gel is quite capable of healing your skin as well.

6. Oatmeal bath

The presence of protein in oatmeal makes it one of the most potent remedies to purge poison ivy rashes on your skin, face. Oatmeal protein builds up a protective wall over your affected skin. On the other hand, the saponin composite present in Oatmeal is instrumental to detoxify your rashes. For the quickest results, do add 4-5 tablespoons of oatmeal powder in your bath-tub and soak your body in warm water.  Applying oatmeal powder-and-water paste on your distressed area may bring much relief.

7. Frozen cucumber slices

Apart from placing it on top of your eye lids to reduce dark circles, sliced cucumber is one of the best home remedies for Poison Ivy/ Oak rashes. For the optimal result, bring out a frozen cucumber from your refrigerator and slice it in multiple pieces. Compress the concerned skin by one slice at a time, with the duration of 5 minutes each. If you have grown rashes just beneath the eye, then repeat this method carefully. A soothing paste with raw cucumber and cold milk can prove equally successful, once you smear the rashes with it.

8. Baking soda

Baking soda is one of the most underrated kitchen ingredients that have an astonishing healing property over Poison Ivy rashes. Most of the times, a severe spate of blisters accompanies Poison Ivy skin inflammation. For the best effect, mix baking soda with water in 3:1 proportion. Apply the paste on your itching blisters for 4 times every day, with the duration of 10 minutes each. Dip cotton balls or gauze pads into baking soda and water solution and use it for cleaning pus. Having a bath in baking soda bath shall do the job too.

9. Banana/water melon

Amidst its plethora of beauty applications, banana peel is a trustable cure, straight out of the tales of grandma. Like Aloe Vera, banana peel too, has a calming down sensation on inflammatory skin that comes with Poison Ivy rash. Once you are affected by it, rub a tender banana peel on your distressed skin area. Similarly, go creative with chilled water-melon as a home-treatment for Poison Oak rash. Water-melon rinds or pulp are equally helpful in this case.

10. Mouthwash

The antibacterial property of mouth wash is instrumental in killing oral germs. You can pour out a half a bottle of mouth wash on your rashes and see the effect! This is a widely appreciated practice to get rid of Poison Ivy inflammation.

11. Epsom salt bath

Do you know that the magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt can treat your red, hot, blistering skin? If you are struck with Poison Sumac leaves, then go for an Epsom salt bath as soon as possible. Take two tablespoons full of Epsom salt and mix it well with a tub full of water. Lukewarm water works best here. Soaking your body for 30 minutes may cut down on the inflammation drastically. If you are not willing to apply it directly into bath water, then put some salt into clean cheesecloth and tie this stuff around the faucet of bath-tub. The running water will pass through it- having the same healing touch.

12. Cold compress

An easy method to get rid of Poison Ivy rashes is cold compress. This is quite a liberating process, as you can take advantage of cotton pad, gauze pad or cloth-wipe to squash your blisters. Put some ice cubes inside a clean cloth and fasten it tightly. Press the knotted cloth against your burning skin and you will see how good it feels instantly! Soaking a cotton ball in chilled water will also do in cold compress for rashes from Poison Oak leaves. For a more longterm solution, brew green tea or black tea quite strongly. Pour the liquid in a bottle and put it inside freezer till it chills. You can replace water cold compress with any of these two beverages. Also try out German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile essential oils for poison Oak/Ive rashes.

13. Lemon juice

For children, this is the most suitable home remedy to apply in order to cure Poison Ivy rash. Using soda, vinegar, gel or any other lotion can have allergic effect on a tender child-skin.  Better squeeze a lemon juice on cotton ball and compress the rashes with it. Lemon juice has astringent in it, which works swiftly in removing residue of toxic oil from skin. But do this as soon as your child is struck by Poison Ivy. Delaying can only lessen the efficacy of lime juice.

14. Turmeric paste

Turmeric boasts of remarkable anti-septic property. Raw turmeric paste is one of the most helpful home hacks for getting rid of Poison Ivy rashes. You can mix water or milk with it, depending upon your preference. But in both the cases, the result shall be visible within 30 minutes. For flaming hot blisters coming from Poison Sumac contact, a turmeric paste can certainly bring comforting property on the table. Also if you have some organic honey in your kitchen closet, then mix it in the turmeric mask as well.  This will only enhance the potency of the paste.

15. Neat alcohol

This may sound quite bizarre at first. But if you think for a while, you can realize that alcohol’s antibacterial property has made it one of the best home solutions to get rid of Poison Sumac rashes. If you have seen those western classics, where wounded soldiers used to pour down alcohol on raw cuts as part of ad-hoc treatments, then you will be able to visualize the co-relation. Neat vodka, whisky and rum are first preferences to clean up your pus-filled rashes.  If you are quite antagonistic towards utilizing alcohol as part of your rash treatment, then look for medicinal rubbing alcohol or spirit.


Taking the following precautionary measure can save you from Poison Ivy-Oak-Sumac rashes-

  • Go for manual plant removal after taking appropriate measures in terms of clothing and hand-gloves.
  • Spray Ortho Poison Ivy killer solution in your yard for permanent destruction of such plants.
  • Follow a bio-degradable as well as manual disposable method, to bury the plucked plants.
  • Keep your pets on check, so that they can’t be the latent Poison Ivy carrier.
  • Lather your hands with barrier cream before you work on your garden back-yard.
  • Wear gloves, full sleeve shirt and full pants mandatorily during gardening.
  • Wash Poison Ivy contaminated objects with hot water and medicated soaps.

The above mentioned home remedies can heal your burning skin and blisters up to a certain limit. If the skin condition becomes severe, then consulting a specialist would be the best option.


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