Here is a typical picture of a poison oak rash. Learn what the plant looks like and recognize its three leaves. Below are the best treatments that I know of if you find yourself infected.
Unfortunately, to get a rash all you have to do is touch the leaves of the plant or touch someone already infected with the rash. It can be transmitted from infected clothes, skin or petting a dog who is infected.
If you know you are hiking in an area that has poison oak, I personally use the product called, "Ivy Block" below. It is a cream that you put on before hand. It prevents the oil from the plant from penetrating your skin.
Poison oak symptoms usually start as a small itchy spot. The itch gets worse over time. Heck, my kids will itch if they think they have touched it! A small itch can turn into a rash or more severe cases will turn into giant red sores.
Yes, Yosemite National Park has poison oak. I find
poison oak in the shady areas and in the meadow grasses of Yosemite. We
often see it at the bottom of trees, near the rivers and along hiking trails. It is green in the spring and then turns to red in the fall. The poison oak plant has three leaves.
Here are pictures of poison oak leaves. Each one will give you a poison oak rash. Learn to recognize poison oak by these pictures:
Green Poison Oak
Red Poison Oak
Poison Oak Growing On A Tree
Once the oil from the leaves has soaked into your skin, there is not much you can do to stop the rash. If you have a serious rash, I think you should be seen by a doctor.
If you get the oil from the poison oak on your clothes, do not wash those clothes with other clothes. Use alcohol to remove the oil before washing. If you don't, the poisonous oil will remain in the fibers of your clothing. (When our son was infected, we just threw the clothes away)
I have found that hot showers will relieve the itching sensation. But don't sit in a hot tub or you will spread it to whom ever else is in the water.
Wash the contaminated area with Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Face Wash. This has 2% salicylic acid in it to keep the skin from drying out. The product also closes your pores so that the poison doesn't penetrate the skin any more.
Put ice cubes on the contaminated area. This will numb the area and reduce the need to itch.
The rash will usually last around three weeks. Treating the rash will make it go away sooner. Below are some excellent products. A severe rash should be treated by your doctor.
The soaps and creams listed below are designed to block the oil from the poison oak leaves from penetrating your skin. They work well.
Yes. If you blister, the blister is filled with water, not poison. Some people say you are not contagious but those of us who have been around it, have seen it spread. Our experience is that a poison oak rash is contagious.
If you're camping or hiking, it is always a good idea to having something with you for treating poison oak.