Have you experienced poison oak rash at least in your lifetime? – I did. Do you know that almost half of the US population has developed a poison oak rash at least once? Poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac are poisonous plants which are found in most parts of the United States.
When a person comes in contact with any one of these plants, a rash will develop. The main culprit behind it is urushiol – oil produced by leaves and stems of poison ivy or oak or sumac plants.
The rash usually develops after 2 – 6 days of the exposure to urushiol. The rash spreads rapidly in the initial days. The severity of the rash depends on the exposure to the urushiol.
Consult a doctor if you have the following along with poison oak rash
- Shortness in breathing
- Feeling discomfort while swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Yellow discharge from the blisters
If you have developed a rash on genitals, eyes, mouth or inhaled the smoke of poison oak ivy then it is also important to consult a doctor right away.
If you have developed a mild condition of poison oak rash then you can resort to home remedies.
In this article, we will discuss how vinegar is helpful in detail.
Is Vinegar Good for Poison Oak? Let’s see…
- The acidity present in apple cider vinegar prevents the rash spreading to other areas of the body.
- It absorbs the poison from the pores of the skin.
- It dries out the blisters and rashes.
- It prevents the itching and other discomforts caused by poison oak rash.
How to Use Vinegar for Poison Oak?
There are several ways of using vinegar to treat poison oak. We have listed them below for your convenience. Choose one among them and try it regularly. You can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for treating poison oak rash.
White Vinegar for Poison Oak
1. Vinegar Compress
This process dries out the blisters and reduces the itching sensation. This process is very simple and only requires vinegar, water and cotton ball or wash cloth. Use white vinegar for this process.
- Combine 1/2 cup of vinegar in 1 1/2 cup of water.
- Refrigerate the mixture to chill for 2 – 3 hours.
- Soak a cotton ball or wash cloth in the chilled mixture.
- Wring out the excess and apply the soaked cloth on the affected area.
- Leave it on for 2 – 5 minutes.
- Remove the cloth, rinse off with water and pat dry.
- Repeat the process daily for at least 1 – 2 weeks.
2. Vinegar with Buttermilk
Soothing properties of buttermilk reduces the itchiness and the high protein present in it clears the fluid from the blisters.
- Combine equal amounts of buttermilk, vinegar and salt.
- Stir well to make a paste.
- Apply the paste to the affected areas.
- Leave it on for few minutes and rinse off with water.
- Repeat the process regularly to achieve the results.
3. Vinegar with Baking Soda
The combination of baking soda and vinegar provides relief from irritation and itching. For this process, you can use either vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Combine enough amounts of vinegar and 3 teaspoons of baking soda to make a thick paste.
- Pat the affected areas wet.
- Gently scrub the mixture on the affected areas.
- After scrubbing for few minutes, rinse off with water.
- Pat dry and apply vinegar on the affected areas.
- Let it dry completely.
- Repeat the process daily.
Note: When vinegar is applied, you may feel slight burning sensation but don’t worry as it will reduce.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Poison Oak
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
This process is very simple to follow. It helps to reduce the itchiness, rinses away the urushiol oil and dries out the blisters.
- Combine equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water.
- Wash the affected area with this mixture.
- Let it dry for few minutes.
- Rinse off with water and pat dry.
- Repeat the process 1 – 2 times daily.
Note: If the mixture is too strong for you then dilute with more amounts of water.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar with Plantain Leaves
If you are frequently affected by poison ivy rash or stroll in the forests then this process helps to prevent poison ivy rash. You can make the solution and store it use whenever required.
- Take some fresh or dried plantain leaves.
- Steep them in apple cider vinegar for 3 – 4 weeks.
- Strain the mixture and store the solution in an airtight container.
- Rinse or wipe the affected area with the solution.
- Repeat whenever required.
Note: whenever you feel like you have touched poison oak plants, use this solution to rinse off the area. It removes the urushiol absorbed by our skin and prevents the occurrence of rashes.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar with Goldenseal
Goldenseal is known to be effective in treating the poison ivy rash. This combination effectively reduces the itchiness and spreading of the rash.
- Combine enough amounts of apple cider vinegar and goldenseal.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly to make a thick paste.
- Apply the mixture over the rashes.
- Leave it on for few minutes.
- Rinse off with water and pat dry.
- Repeat the process regularly.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar with Bentonite Clay
This combination is very effective in removing the poison ivy rash within few days. It reduces the itchiness almost immediately. Apart from poison ivy rash, it works on bug bites, other rashes and stings as well.
- Combine enough amounts of apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay to make a thick paste.
- Spread the paste onto the affected areas.
- Leave it on for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Wipe off with warm wash cloth.
- Repeat daily until you achieve the results.
- Alternatively, you can use green clay instead of bentonite clay.
Note: After removing the application, the area may have turned into red. Don’t worry it is normal and subsides in 30 minutes to an hour.
How to Kill Poison Ivy Plants with Vinegar
If your back yard or garden has poison ivy plants then it is time to remove them to prevent the rashes. You should never burn poison ivy plants as the smoke released is very dangerous when inhaled. Wondering how you can kill them? Here is a very simple and effective process…
- Combine 1gallon of vinegar and 1 cup of salt in a pan.
- Heat the mixture to dissolve the salt.
- Remove from the flame and let it cool down.
- Now add 8 drop of liquid detergent and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on the poison ivy plants carefully.
- This will kill the poison ivy plants in few days.
- Spray the solution daily.
Note: This solution can kill any vegetation so make sure to spray it only on poison ivy plants.
Tips and Precautions:
- If your clothes have touched the poison ivy plants, then soak them in diluted vinegar before washing them.
- If you are going out for camping or strolling in the woods, it is better to have vinegar bottle with you. Whenever you come in contact with these plants, just wipe the area with vinegar to kill the urushiol observed the skin.
- Never ever scratch, pop or scrub the blisters.
- If you have developed poison oak rash on genitals, eyes, mouth or throat then it is recommended to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- Learn to identify the poison oak plants as it helps to stay away from them.
- Avoid burning poison oak plants. The smoke emerging from the poison oak plants can be life threatening. Unfortunately, if something happens like this, please consult a doctor immediately.
- There are many barrier creams available in the market which can present urushiol absorption. Use them while you go out in the woods.
- If none of the mentioned remedies worked, please consult a doctor.
Have you experienced poison oak rashes? What did you use to treat them? Check out these articles to get more information on other great home remedies for treating poison oak using a banana peel and oatmeal. Please share your experience and remedies with us in the comments section below.
The blister will not spread the poison. That is an old wive’s tale. The liquid inside the blister is your body’s reaction to the irritant.
The blister contains both liquid developed due to our body’s reaction and the irritant causing poison oak. When the blisters opens, along with the liquid the irritant may also spread to other areas causing infection.
The Mayo Clinic says the blisters are NOT contagious. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/poison-ivy/symptoms-causes/syc-20376485
I came in contact with poison oak while trimming hedges. Only had it on my back and chest, it is slowlyT beginning to spread to my neck, abdomen, hips and legs. just small spots. I started with ACV on a cotton ball. I have also used witch hazel on a cotton ball.. Spent over an hour in a pool, as I read the chlorine would dry it up fast. Fortunately I do not have any itching. I have been taking Benadryl. Hoping I can keep this from spreading further and dry it up quickly.
Although I had never experienced a reaction to poison ivy or oak as a child, i am now aware that my new home is surrounded by these plants. After suffering through several bouts of it with 2 trips to the ER and calamine lotion, I was convinced I had no options. Every body is different so I can only vouch for what is working for me, the baking soda paste with vinegar rinse is my goto remedy. It burns like hell for a min but then u have no itch or pain whatsoever! I forgot I even had the rash and got back to doing yardwork!! I plan to supplement with Ivy pills to be proactive.
Thanks for sharing your experience Rachael.
My daughter and I break out with blisters Everytime we go rake the yard, pick up branches by the woods, etc. Literally don’t even have to be in the woods to get the blisters. Airborne. Which remedie would be the best to use to get rid of the blisters and which one would be the best to use to prevent us from getting them?