My brother & I always got it bad when we were kids – eyes swollen shut, 75% of our bodies in a blistered rash. We tried every remedy we heard of – jewelweed, calamine, oatmeal, rubbing alcohol, clay, Benedryl, 1/2 pound of salt; you name it, we tried it.
Sitting in the ocean surf, scrubbing our arms & legs raw with sand so the salt water could get in there to do some healing was a favorite. It hurt like crazy & helped a little, but mostly I think a day in the ocean just helped us keep our sanity.
Today there are 2 over the counter ‘remedies’ that actually help me a lot. 1) Tecnu. Use it ASAP if you even THINK you’ve contacted poison ivy. Helps prevent the rash. 2) Zanfel. Expensive, but this is what they use in the emergency rooms nowadays, & it made a HUGE difference for me – it actually helped the rash stop itching immediately and cleared up in half the time!