I'm extremely allergic to poison ivy. I got it pretty bad a few years back and when I did the places on my arms were so bad it looked like a 3rd degree burn. I can literally look at it and get it on me. I try to stay away from it but it is hard when you're working outside. I was clearing out some brush behind our barn a few months ago and got a couple small patches of it, nothing major. Instead of going to the doctor I decided to treat it with natural remedies.
I got some different ideas for treating poison ivy from an article on ThriftyFun.com. Before treating your poison ivy you need to ensure that all the oils from the plant have been removed. The plant oil is what spreads the rash. Once the oil is off your skin the rash will not spread any more. It's a common myth that poison ivy spreads by the "puss" that oozes from the rash but that is just not true.
If you suspect you might have gotten into some poison ivy take a shower immediately when you get inside from working. Make sure to scrub yourself down real good to remove all the oils from your skin. Wash anything you came in contact with including your clothes, bedsheets, blankets or anything else. Once the poison ivy pops up after a day or so you will be able to start treating it.
I started with calamine lotion in the mornings to stop some of the itching and help dry it out. Calamine works great, and the article also recommends dishwashing liquid (Dawn) also on the rash to help dry it and calm the itching. I tried the dishwashing soap and it worked good. At night I would make myself a paste consisting of baking soda and coffee and apply liberally to the rash. Wrap it up to keep it on the skin and let this stay on overnight.
The mixture will literally pull the fluid right out of your skin and will clear your rash up within a few days. The cool coffee and baking soda mixture was a success at treating my poison ivy and removed the need to go to the doctor and take expensive medicines. I'm sure most of you know baking soda has about a million uses so it's good to keep plenty on hand.