According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “A rash from poison ivy, oak, or sumac usually lasts one to three weeks. Most rashes will go away without treatment.”
While your rash may heal on its own, it’s still likely to be itchy and uncomfortable during the process — sometimes even severely, depending on how allergic you are to the plant’s oils.
There are many over the counter remedies for dealing with the oils in these plants, with our personal favorite being Tecnu. But if you don’t OTC remedies at hand or prefer not to use them, here are some ways to help relieve the itch.
Before trying any of these remedies, be sure to first wash the area thoroughly with soap and hot water, using a washcloth. Rinse and repeat at least three times to ensure that all of the poison is gone. Urushiol, the substance in poison ivy and oak that makes you itchy, is a sticky oil that is hard to wash away. Make certain to wash all clothes, and anything else that came into contact with the plant, too.
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