Poison oak is a plant that may cause allergy in some individuals when it comes in contact with the skin. The leaves, roots, flowers, fruit (berries) or stem of this plant contains urushiol oil which may result in rashes, blisters and bumps. It, in turn, causes pain and irritation. The condition may get worst if you scratch the infected area with your fingernail and touch the same on any other part of the body. Direct contact with the infected person or using his/her clothes may spread the infection. Wash the affected area with the antiseptic soap and water as soon as you come in contact with the poison oak plant. It is the first step to stop the infection from spreading further. Instead of topical treatments, use home remedies to get rid of poison oak. These remedies have no side effects and are inexpensive.
Home Remedies for Poison Oak
Wash the infected area with antiseptic/anti-bacterial soap and water. This is one of the preliminary poison oak treatments and must be used as a first aid.
Alternatively, you can also apply an ice pack over the affected area for fast relief.
Note – Use chilled water as it will provide instant relief from burning sensation, itching, inflammation, and redness.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apply some apple cider vinegar directly to the affected area. Or else, dilute it with some water before application. This remedy acts as a panacea for a number of skin infections and is also very effective in treating the poison oak.
Have a cup of cold, black coffee. It contains chlorogenic acid, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and may help soothe the irritation.
- Alternatively, dip a cotton swab in the cold black coffee and apply it to the affected area.
- Or else, mix some baking soda, coffee and water to make a fine paste. Spread it on the affected area and leave it for drying. Wash off with water and wipe with a clean washcloth. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times a day for 3-4 days, to get rid of the poison oak fast.
4. Vodka and Vinegar
Take 1 part each of vodka and vinegar. Mix both the ingredients and rub it gently over the affected area. Alcohol helps wash away the urushiol oil (an allergen found in the poison oak) from the skin.
Make a paste of oatmeal by adding some water. Spread it on the affected area. Alternatively, mix a cup of ground oatmeal in your bathtub and soak yourself in it.
- Or else, mix some ground oatmeal and salt along with some water to make a smooth paste. Apply it on the affected area. Leave it for drying and then wash it off with cold water. It is a natural, effective and easy method of getting rid of poison oak fast.
Note: Always use normal water or cold water for this treatment as hot or lukewarm water might cause irritation and discomfort.
Apply some yogurt or buttermilk to the affected area, to draw out the toxins o and provide a cooling effect. This remedy quickly heals the symptoms of the poison oak infection.
7. Baking Soda
Take some baking soda and water. Mix them to form a paste. Apply it to the rashes with the help of a clean cotton swab. Allow the paste to dry and then wash off with water. Wipe it with a dry washcloth. Repeat the procedure after a few hours. It is one of the very effective remedies to treat poison oak.
- Alternatively, mix some baking soda and vinegar to form a smooth paste. Apply this paste to your blisters before taking the shower. Scrub well and finally wash off with water.
Grate a small-sized raw potato and wrap it in a piece of cotton cloth. Place this wrap on the rashes and leave it for 1 full day or overnight. Remove it in the morning and wash off with the cold water.
9. Watermelon Peel
Take watermelon and peel it off. Gently rub the inner side of this peel on the rashes. It will provide a cooling effect and relief in burning sensation, itching, and redness.
Apply banana peel on the inflamed skin. It is a very good cure for poison oak. Or else, crush some fresh banana leaves to form a smooth paste and spread it on the infected area.
- Another option is, crush some banana leaves and bentonite clay in a grinder along with some water. Apply the resultant paste to the affected area and leave it for drying. Wash it off with cold water afterwards. This process must be repeated regularly until you are cured completely.
- You can also chop banana leaves and steep it in a cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain this mixture and let it cool. Use this water to treat the infection.
Cut cucumber slices and put them on the rashes. The water content in the cucumber will provide comfort to the inflamed skin and help in quick healing.
- Alternatively, grate some cucumber and tie it in a piece of cloth. Place it over the affected area.
- Or else, extract the juice of a fresh cucumber and apply it to the rashes.
Take 1 tbsp of turmeric powder and mix some alcohol in it to form a thick and smooth paste. Apply this paste and leave till it dries. Wash it off with cold water. It is one of the most effective home remedies to treat poison oak.
- Alternatively, mix some lemon juice and turmeric powder. Apply the prepared paste to the infected area. It removes the rashes and provides comfort.
13. Cold Milk
Dip a cotton swab in cold milk. Place it on the affected area. After 15-20 minutes, wash it off with the cold water.
14. Epsom Salt
Wash off the affected area with a solution of Epsom salt and water. Alternatively, mix a cup of Epsom salt in your bath water and soak yourself in it. It will cure the infection and aid in instant healing.
15. Lemon Juice
Apply some lemon juice directly over the affected area. It will help cut down the infection caused due to poison oak.
16. Acorn Broth
Boil some acorns in water. Strain the water and dip a cotton swab in it. Apply it to the affected area. Reapply it after it dries. It is a very effective home remedy for poison oak which helps relieve the itching and redness.
17. Calamine Lotion
Rub calamine lotion on your skin to get relief from itching and burning sensation caused due to poison oak.
Herbal Remedies for Poison Oak
18. Chamomile Tea Bags
Soak some chamomile tea bags in the water. Use this water to wash off the affected area.
Note – Cool the tea water before using, as hot or warm water might aggravate the blisters.
Mix 1 tbsp of salt and a few drops of peppermint essential oil in 1-2 cups of green clay. Add some water to make a smooth paste. Apply it to the rashes. Let it sit for 30-40 minutes and then wash it off with cold water.
- Alternatively, mix an equal quantity of peppermint oil and any carrier oil (such as coconut oil or olive oil). Apply it and leave it overnight. Wash off with cold water in the morning. This remedy must be applied regularly for a few weeks till the traces of the infection are removed completely.
20. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural treatment for poison oak infection. Apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected area. Keep it overnight. The oil will get absorbed by morning, and you will be relieved from irritation, swelling, inflammation, and redness.
21. Witch Hazel
Crush some witch hazel leaves to form a paste and use it on the affected area. It is an excellent home remedy for poison oak.
Chop the leaves of jewelweed finely and boil them for 10 minutes until dark orange-colored liquid is formed. Cool this liquid to room temperature and fill it in an ice tray. Freeze it. Take the ice cubes and wrap it in a thin cloth. Place it over the rashes. Repeat it 3-4 times a day until you find the infection is reducing. It is a quick and effectual cure for poison oak infection.
23. Essential Oil
Apply lavender, cypress, chamomile, and geranium essential oils to the affected area, in order to prevent the aggravation of the infection. It is a very popular and trusted poison oak treatment.
Put some chopped plantain leaves in a cup of water. Let it steep for 10-12 minutes. Strain the solution. With the help of a cotton ball, apply it to the affected area.
25. Aloe Vera
Apply some aloe vera gel to the infected area. It will help relieve the itching. It also softens the skin, removes the dead skin cells and alleviates the redness, inflammation, and swelling.
- Apply hydrogen peroxide to the affected area.
- Wash your clothes affected with poison oak separately.
- Always keep the infected skin cool.
- Take antihistamines after consulting your physician as they help combat the allergic reactions.
- Make use of herbicide in your garden in case poison oak exists there.
- Wear gloves to pluck off the plants from their roots.
- Bathe your pets regularly.
- Wear full-sleeves clothes while walking in woods or strolling in the garden.
- Avoid touching the infected area with your fingers as it might cause the infection to spread.
- Do not scratch the rashes.
- Never burn poison oak plant as it might spread the allergens in the air; thus, spreading the infection.