How to Treat Poison Oak

How to Treat Poison Oak
The toxin urushiol is found in poison oak. It is the cause of the itchy rash that forms blisters, turn the skin red and swollen and make a person's life miserable. According to the American Academy of Dermatology plants such as poison oak and poison ivy will affect as many as 85 percent of the people that come into contact with them because some form of urushiol is in them. Hikers, hunters, anglers and backpackers need to know how to treat poison oak in case they encounter it in the woods.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Realize that once the rash that comes from exposure to poison oak begins it cannot be cured. The symptoms can be dealt with but the rash will run its course. Poison oak starts to precipitate the rash associated with it at different speeds in different individuals. Some will have symptoms as soon as two hours after coming into contact with the plant while others won't start to break out for as long as five days after touching it.
Step 2
Wash your skin thoroughly after coming into contact with poison oak. Use any mild soap and warm water and clean the region of the skin completely. Dry it off gently.
Step 3
Treat the itch that poison oak brings with over-the-counter medications. Any type of ointment that has hydrocortisone or zinc oxide as an active ingredient should help make the itchiness bearable. Purchase aloe vera gels, calamine lotion, or products such as Tecnu Extreme to use when you are outdoors and meet up with poison oak. Tecnu Extreme can be purchased online and is excellent for countering poison oak. It works in such a way that the urushiol is removed from the surface of the skin and any itching is relieved rapidly. Aloe vera and calamine lotion are fine topical ointments that can give you some respite from any itching that begins.
Step 4
Change your clothes as soon as possible after encountering poison oak. The oils from the plant that are responsible for the rash can continue to come into contact with your skin if you wear the clothes that you had on when the unfortunate scenario occurred. Wash these clothes a few times to insure the oils are gone.
Step 5
Be alert for the possibility of infection. Avoid scratching poison oak rashes and never break the blisters open. When the blisters that come with the poison oak rash break open and crust over there is the distinct possibility that they can become infected by any bacteria present on your body. If this occurs consult a doctor. You will be given antibiotic creams and also probably have to take oral antibiotics.

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