How to Get Rid of Poison Oak Rash & Itch

By Traci Joy

The outdoors is full of breathtaking beauty, fresh air and adventure. But with all of the good things the outdoors brings, there are a few bad things added to the mix. Poison oak can take what was a fun-filled day and turn it into weeks of misery. When one comes in contact with the oil from a poison oak plant, within hours the skin can begin turning red and become swollen and irritated. Within a day or two a blistery rash and an itch begins to develop. Before an expensive trip to the doctor, or even the local pharmacy, for a treatment that doesn't work very well, try one of these home remedies that help you get rid of poison oak rash and itch.

Rinse the affected area with lukewarm water.

Pour salt, straight from the salt shaker, on the affected rash.

Wet the cheesecloth and rub the salt into the skin with the cheesecloth. This will exfoliate the skin and break up the blisters. The rash is caused by the oil from the poison oak plant sticking to the skin. Exfoliating will remove that layer of skin gently. The salt also will act as an antibiotic, to prevent germs from infecting the open skin.

Leave the salt rub on your skin as long as you can. Then rinse the area with cool water.

Pour some chlorine bleach into a disposable container.

Take a large, sterile cotton ball and dip it into the chlorine bleach.

Apply the bleach to the rash. Allow it to stay on the skin and dry. You will want to wear old clothes for this treatment to avoid damage on clothing from the chlorine bleach.

Repeat the above process twice a day, but do not spend a lot of time out in the sun with bleach on your skin.

Fill a bathtub with warm water. Sprinkle in 1 cup of baking soda. Soak in the tub as long as you wish, while submerging the rash under water.

Get out of the tub and mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Apply it to the rash with sterile cotton balls.

Pour salt onto the vinegar-covered rash. Allow it to remain on skin for at least an hour or until the rash and itch are soothed.

Rinse the salt and vinegar off your skin with cool water.

Peel a banana, retaining the peel.

Open up the peel and rub the inside of the peel over the rash affected area of your skin.

Leave the pulp and juice from the banana peel on your skin as long as possible. Rinse off your skin with warm water and then with cool water.


Poison oak rash is caused by an immune system response when the skin comes in contact with the oil from the poison oak plant. To keep your immune system healthy and help prevent such responses, take your vitamins and increase intake of Vitamin C. Dispose of any items that come in contact with your open rash blisters. Wash any clothing or towels separately from non-contaminated items.


If your rash and itch persists for more than 7 days with no relief, see your doctor to make sure you are properly diagnosed.

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