You know the old adage of "leaves of three, let them be" but how do you deal with poison ivy once you develop a rash.

Poison Ivy isn't exactly something you want to run into. A few weeks ago, we reported it's running rampant because of the wet spring season. It's growing in unexpected places like inside your mulch and growing up your trees.

Our story prompted an onslaught of comments from viewers on our Facebook page, telling us about the home remedies that have worked for you to stop the rash and itching that is so difficult to bear.

Melanie McCann wrote that she is so allergic her face swelled, and she uses a "bar of soap called Poison Ivy Soap from the pharmacy." Another viewer shared they use Benadryl immediately while

Terry Allen Dodson said to use the Betadine soap because it will "draw the oil out of the skin."

Turns out there are dozens of home remedies from bentonite clay, rubbing alcohol, baking soda and oatmeal baths. But do they work? UAMS internal medicine doctor Robert Hopkins verifies what the studies say.

"I have heard lots of different things advocated over the years. Anything from bleach to alcohol to other things that can be used to clean the oils," he said. "There may be some effectiveness to those, but there haven't been good studies to tell us they really work."

Dr. Hopkins said there's only one thing that scientific studies prove works, and that is this:

“Get in the house and wash down really well with soap and water," he explained. "Ideally warm water, because that's more likely to clean the oils from poison ivy off your skin or break down those oils so you're less likely to have a reaction."

In fact, he said sometimes the home remedies could cause more of a rash and set you up for a secondary infection.

If your rash contains pus or scabs, doesn't improve or covers a large portion of the body - get to a doctor right away. You may need oral medication to take care of it.


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