En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 12, 2008

From: Woodbridge , VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pests, Poisonous Plants
Title: Topical treatment for poison ivy rash
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I would like to know a topical treatment for the poison ivy rash


There are lots of over-the-counter medications and home remedies for treating poison ivy that you can find by Googling "poison ivy remedy".  Mr. Smarty Plants does not have a "silver bullet" remedy but can offer this advice in brief: 

1.  Learn to recognize poison ivy and avoid it. ("Leaves of three; let it be.")

2.  If you inadvertently come into contact with it, thoroughly clean the area with rubbing alcohol and then soap and water.  There are even commercially available neutralizing agents (Google "poison ivy cleanser") that you can carry with you to use in the field if you come in contact with poison ivy.  This will at least reduce the symptoms. 

3.  Read this same advice from wikiHow in more detail.

4.  If you have a severe reaction to poison ivy, see your physician for medication to relieve your symptoms.

Toxicodendron radicans

Toxicodendron radicans

Toxicodendron radicans



More Pests Questions

Pest Dug Up and Ate Hypoxis Corms
August 06, 2015 - After years of no problems, something recently dug up and ate all my Yellow star-grass corms. What is attracted to them and is there an organic way to prevent it?
view the full question and answer

Ravaged by snails
May 23, 2007 - Our Prickly Pear Cactus is being completely ravaged by snails. Is there something in my yard that could be attracting them? Is there something I can do to keep them off the plant? Also is is safe to...
view the full question and answer

Discouraging rattlesnakes in northern California
July 12, 2011 - Searching for information re: managing your garden to discourage snakes, especially rattlesnakes. I live in northern California and we have many. I found one of your articles, but the link to an U. of...
view the full question and answer

Lily plants being chewed from Austin
June 20, 2013 - Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?
view the full question and answer

Orange eggs on milkweed plants
October 18, 2012 - Hello I have milk weed in my flower garden. Every year I find small orange 'eggs' on the leaves and stems of the plant. I don't think these are the monarch eggs, but not sure if they are other...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center