The People's Perspective on Medicine

How Could a Poison Ivy Remedy Help Your Itchy Bites?

A reader who lives in an RV finds a poison ivy remedy useful against all kinds of itches, including those from chigger bites.

When warm weather arrives, we start spending more time outside in fields or woods. As a result, we may come home with itchy bites. Chigger bites are especially irritating. A brief blast of hot water can calm the itch for a while. Could a poison ivy remedy also be soothing?

Poison Ivy Remedy Stops Itching:

Q. My favorite remedy for chigger bites is the poison ivy remedy Ivy-Dry. This product stops the maddening itch of the bites.

I live in an RV and can’t carry a lot of extra stuff with me. An RVer friend tried Ivy-Dry for chigger bites and decided he would rather use that than any of the preventives. I apply the liquid version with a cotton swab. I’ve loaned my bottle of Ivy-Dry to fellow RVers and it helps all types of itches.

What Is in This Poison Ivy Remedy?

A. Ivy-Dry contains benzyl alcohol, camphor and menthol. It is marketed as a way to treat the itching of poison ivy and poison oak as well as bug bites.

How It Works:

The skin contains nerve endings that are equipped with transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. These respond to temperature and touch as well as menthol and camphor. By stimulating these TRP channels, you can overwhelm the nerves that are creating the itch sensation.

Preventing Chigger Bites in the First Place:

We still believe prevention is the best approach to chiggers and other biting bugs. Insect repellent with DEET or picaridin is effective.

Some people report that dusting their shoes, socks and pants legs with powdered sulfur (flower of sulfur) keeps the chiggers and ticks away.

Rate this article
star-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-empty
4.7- 17 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Skin Care and Treatment
$2.00

Download home remedies and medicines for acne and excessive sweating. Oxybenzone-free sunscreens. Coping with dry skin, eczema, wrinkles and psoriasis. Inexpensive barnyard beauty aids.

Skin Care and Treatment
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.

Showing 13 comments
Comments
Add your comment

We have “little” tiny (small as a coffee ground) black things on us &a all over our clothing. Many people say they are mites. They bite with a sensation like a prick or a shock! I have tried EVERYTHING on them even bleach to no avail. My grandson came to visit &I now he has them all over him! Scabies?? Don’t know what to do. Dr thinks I need a shrink. He can’t see them. HELP!

Powdered sulphur on the skin at penitrations in clothing and tight skin to skin contact areas is very effective against chiggers. I used it dayly for years (all summer) with the area dusted depending on my expected exposure and don’t think there is any danger to the user.

As a youngster I used rubbing alcohol on chigger bites and found it to be quick and effective.

I learned many years ago that showering in very hot water will relieve itchiness for up to several hours. If rash is only on the hands and arms, simply do this under the faucet. The relief has to do with the release of histamine. It does seem counter-intuitive, but actually stimulates your body to action. This practice has helped relieve the maddening itch of poison ivy for me numerous times over the years.

Is sulphur powder safe for use if we are going in and out of our house where we have pets?

Last Summer I ended up with some chigger bites ~ two different times ~ after I had visited a friend in the country. When I noticed the itching and the red spots I applied colloidal silver and never had another itch ~ never! I applied it every day for a while. The spots were with me, but the itch was gone.

So glad to know about this product that is good for poison ivy as well as big bites and other itches! Thank you for sharing.
As a child, when I got chigger (red bug) bites, my mom would run a bath and add some liquid bleach (Clorox) (maybe a half cup) to my bath water- it killed the chiggers and stopped the itching!! Always worked and still does! I’ve shared this remedy with lots of friends and family and they tell me it worked for them too!

This might be something to try if itching continues.

We use antibacterial wipes to calm chigger bites. Just wipe down your legs and thighs after being outside and the chemical in the wipes soothes the itch.

Vick’s works wonders on bites also. I carry Oil of Oregano in my car as it works great on stings also.

I live in the country and am in and out of the house maybe a dozen times a day. I add a spray top to a bottle of 70% rubbing alcohol and keep it by the door. Every time I come in the house, I spray my feet (if wearing flip-flops), ankles and legs with the alcohol. The little devils never get a chance to bite and I never have chigger itches. My guess is the alcohol kills on contact.

I use Tea Tree Oil for bug bites and poison ivy. Very effective!

I had a chigger bite once on my ankle. I read to cover the area with fingernail polish. I used clear polish and it stopped the itch instantly. The article said the chigger needed to breath (or something like that) and the polish would stop that ability. I have gotten so much info from you in the many years I have been reading your articles I would have thought that was from you. Anyway, thank you for all your help that you give.

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^