Apply an over-the-counter cortisone cream or ointment (Cortizone) for the first few days. Apply calamine lotions or creams that contain menthol. Take oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which can also help you sleep better. To relieve itching, take short, warm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local pharmacy.
You can also take a bath and add a cup of baking soda to running water. Taking short, cold showers can also help. Isopropyl alcohol can remove urushiol oil from skin and other surfaces. It's a good idea to bring alcohol wipes when hiking or camping to quickly apply them to the affected area after exposure to poison ivy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that urushiol can stay on the surface of most items that come in contact with poison ivy, sometimes for years, unless a person treats it with alcohol or water. Research suggests that the use of a modified version of bentonite clay (quaternium-18 bentonite) may help prevent or control contact dermatitis caused by poison ivy and oak. The rash can cause serious discomfort, but home remedies can often help calm you down. They include rubbing with alcohol, washing with warm water, and applying cold compresses.
If these medications don't relieve pain, your pharmacist may recommend over-the-counter medications. If symptoms persist or are severe, the person may need to talk to a doctor. Your doctor may prescribe an oral corticosteroid, such as prednisone. They may also give you a steroid cream to apply to your skin.
If the rash becomes infected, you may need to take an oral antibiotic. It's not uncommon for a poison ivy rash to grow in size, but the spread isn't due to scratching the rash (unless you have urushiol oil under your nails). Although some people are not sensitive to this oil and never have symptoms, most people experience a rash when touching poison ivy. Despite wearing long sleeves, you'll quickly discover how difficult it can be to avoid contact with poison ivy while trying to control it.
Spraying poison ivy with an herbicide containing glyphosate, triclopyr and 2,4-D can help keep the plant under control in your garden. Poison ivy is a woody perennial plant that can climb trees and fences with its hairy aerial roots, crawl on the ground, or imitate a shrub. Poison ivy is a plant with three leaflets, so keep an eye out as you stroll through the woods or anywhere outdoors. Some people report poison ivy rash relief after applying a paste of bentonite clay and water to the affected area.
Exposure to poison ivy can cause severe rash and itching, which are symptoms of contact dermatitis. A poison ivy rash usually goes away without medical treatment, but it can cause severe discomfort until then.