A poison oak treatment should be readily on hand, especially now that summer is coming. Anyone that is involved in clearing out the brush from the prior year, or have woods near their home may have been exposed to poison oak, poison ivy and poisoned sumac. You may encounter these plants on one of your nature walks or while you are camping.
You can always tell if you come in contact with the plant due to the itchy and red rash on your skin. There may even be hives or blisters that will appear. The symptoms will normally appear between 8 and 48 hours after you have come in contact with the oil from this plant. Not everyone experiences a reaction to this particular oil. You actually have to have an allergy to the oil that is also known as urushiol. The rash is not contagious, and it does not spread. You may experience the condition developing new areas of your skin as it can continue developing over several days.
The treatment for this exposure can be done at home. The first thing that you should do is to be sure that you wash the area immediately and use a variety of products to treat the symptoms. Taking cool baths and using compresses will help to relieve the itching and pain. You can also use calamine lotion and antihistamines to relieve the pain. Cortisone creams are also helpful. If you have an extreme case or are experiencing severe symptoms, it is important to contact your physician who may prescribe additional corticosteriod medications, ointments and even injections.
A poison oak cure is as basic as knowing exactly what the plants look like. The best cure is to avoid the plants as much as possible. Other ways of protecting yourself include: wearing long sleeves and long pants, wearing gloves (vinyl are the best) and applying different types of creams in order to protect your skin. Check out different websites for pictures of these plants and be aware as you enjoy the great outdoors.