How to Treat Poison Ivy at Home

My son had his first poison sumac case after a frog hunt in the woods behind our campsite. Ugh! I was surprised to see how fast he has symptoms – within minutes – and how much it spread. The spreading is what landed us in urgent care; otherwise, I would have treated the symptoms at home.  

Here’s what we did

I started with Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy and Oak Scrub.

I wore gloves for this part, so I didn’t end up with a rash too. At this point, he didn’t have any sore spots from scratching, and the scrub didn’t bother him. I don’t think he would have tolerated it if the rash was painful. 

Then we moved onto Tecnu Rash Relief Medicated Anti-Itch Spray.

The spray really stinks, so I’d recommend spraying it on in a well-ventilated area if you can. This stuff works and fast. Before I used this spray, I used a Calamine-based lotion and hydrocortisone, but they didn’t work for long. Benadryl ointment worked well too, but the Tecnu spray was the winner.  

Finally, I gave my son a daily dose of allergy medication.

I chose Children’s Claritin, but there are a ton of options out there. I didn’t use Benadryl because it makes him act funny, but that would probably work too. 

I quickly realized I stopped treatment too soon (around five days) because he started complaining and itching again. I had to start everything all over again to give him some relief. When the rash spread to his face, he ended up needing oral Prednisone to clear up the poison sumac completely. We also started an antibiotic ointment to heal the infection he got from scratching.  

I hope this helps!  

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