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Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Relieving the Itch

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

A rash caused by poison ivy, oak, or sumac may itch and produce blisters.

Mild to moderate rash

If you get a mild rash, you can take care of it at home. Here are some tips to help with itching:

If you have trouble sleeping because of the itching, taking diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may help.

Some home care medicines applied to the skin can make the rash worse, rather than help. These include topical antihistamines like Benadryl cream, topical antibiotics like Neosporin, and topical anesthetics like Lanacane.

Severe rash

See your doctor if:

Your doctor may treat your rash with prescription corticosteroid pills, creams, or shots.


Credits for Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac: Relieving the Itch

Current as of: March 3, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine


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