How to Stop Poison Itch


Getting poison ivy, oak or sumac on the skin is incredibly frustrating. Not only does it itch terribly, but the worst part is not being able to scratch it. Scratching the the poisoned areas will cause the poison to spread. There are expensive over-the-counter medications that can be taken, but quite a few of them do not work that well. Luckily, there area few home remedies that can work wonders at relieving the itch and reducing the redness.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 8 oz. water
  • Gauze
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Oatmeal
  • Milk
  • Water
  • 1 bunch of jewelweed

Baking Soda Method

Put the baking soda into the water and stir it. The water will dissolve the baking soda. If not, add a little more water and stir until the baking soda is dissolved.

Wash the poisoned area with the baking soda solution. Do this often throughout the day.

Cover the poisoned area with gauze to keep the area clean.

Another method for applying this mixture involves making it into a paste. Add the baking soda to just a little bit of water.

Apply this paste onto the affected area and cover it as in Step 3.

Rubbing Alcohol/Oatmeal Method

Saturate a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Rub the alcohol-soaked cotton ball all over the affected areas within four hours of being exposed to any poisonous plant/ivy.

Continue to apply the alcohol until all affected areas are liberally wet. Take the clothes you were wearing when you were exposed and soak them in a bucket of alcohol for 15 minutes. According to, "alcohol is a solvent and draws the toxic oils out of the skin and clothing and prevents or reduces the rash and itching."

Wash the skin (and clothes) with warm water.

Pour the required amount of milk into regular oatmeal cereal. Once the oatmeal is made, allow it to cool so that it is warm, but not too hot to put on your skin.

Spread the oatmeal onto the affected areas of the body. If the whole body has been affected, pour 3/4 of a box of oatmeal into a bathtub filled with warm water. Immerse into the water and soak in it for 30 minutes. The powdery substance left by the oatmeal when finished will help relieve the itch.

The Jewelweed Method

Purchase (or cut from the garden) jewelweed. With the leaves, rub the affected area liberally,

Cut the stems from the plants and rub the juice on the affected areas. Do both step 1 and 2 several times a day. Let it dry completely.

(For larger areas) Place the leaves, flowers and stems into a sauce pot half-filled with water. Boil the plants until the water turns dark orange. Using a cotton ball dipped into this solution, swab the affected areas. According to, jewelweed will stop the itch and dry the blisters. This method is said to be just as effective as cortisone cream.

Tips & Warnings

  • For other great at-home remedies, visit:
  • Do not touch anybody while infected by poison ivy, oak or sumac. The toxins on your affected areas can be spread to other people through direct contact.
  • Wash your hands immediately after touching the affected areas.

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