Poison Oak Rash
Anyone can be affected by allergy caused by poison oak. The poison oak rashes are caused in the skin when it is exposed to the plant that goes by the same name, a plant that usually grows in mountainous areas.
Explicitly a poison oak rash is an allergic reaction to urushiol, which is an oil that is located in poison oak. The roots, leaves and stems of poison oak are rich in urushiol oil.
Your skin may come into contact with this oil in the following situations:
- Touching any part of the plant.
- Touching any article or thing that has been in touch with the urushiol oil or the poison oak.
- By getting in contact with the fur of an animal that has been near the urushiol oil or poison oak.
- As you inhale smoke from burning poison oak.
Scratching the blisters produced by poison oak does not produce a spread of the rash, as this is not contagious; the only element capable of causing this rash is the urishiol oil which is present in the sap of poison oak.
Because the allergic reaction caused by poison oak is classified most of the time as a type of poison ivy.
Poison oak rash is a common skin allergic reaction that occurs when one exposes their skin to the poisonous oak plant oil secretes. The oil is known as Urashiol and is found in the plants poisonous roots, stems and leaves. Urashiol is easily transferred from poison oak to toys, tools, clothes and even animals and can remain active for a period longer than a year. Poison oak oil can also be passed from pets and cloths that have had contact with poison oak plant. A skin can get into contact with the oil through touching the poison oak plant, touching anything that has had contact with poison oak or Urashiol, touching furs of an animal that has had contact with poison oak or Urashiol oil and by inhaling smoke from poison oak that is burning.
Poison oak rash develops in different stages and degrees of harshness for different people. When one starts reacting to it, the area affected will become red and swell and as it gets worse, the affected area develops vesicles, papules, blisters and even oozing. How severe the rashes get is directly dependent on the strength of one's immune system. If your body reacts faster to the poison oak, you will get severe symptoms that will look nastier. The rashes last for about two weeks and as your skin heals the marks and blisters all disappear. Severe cases of the rash last for approximately one month to completely heal.
If you suffer from poison oak rash the following treatments are available to help you get relief. You can run cool water on the affected parts for immediate relief. To have lasting relief using this method, put water on a towel or cloth and put it on top of the rash. You can also fill your bathtub with cool water and get in it for relief.
You can also make use of over the counter medications like calamine lotion that soothes the skin and prevent itching and also dries the crusts caused by the rashes and blisters.
Use ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar to make a treatment. All you need to do is to mix the ingredients and make a paste like peanut butter paste then go to the shower and vigorously rub the mixture in the affected area as water runs on you. You will feel sore and discomfort as you begin but you will feel great after some time.
Although poison oak rash is easily treated at home, if you have severe symptoms due to your immune system or your mucus membranes such as genitals, eyes, nose and even mouth have got into contact with Urashiol, you are advised to see a doctor for medical treatment.
Since poison oak can stay in the cloths for over one year, it is important that cloths that get into contact with the plant be washed with water and soap using washing machine to prevent further poisoning and objects with the poison cleaned with alcohol. Pets must also be bathed if they have been exposed to the poison oak plant. If you can't avoid getting into contact with the plant then it is advisable that you apply hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion or antihistamine oral ingestion. It is easy to prevent poisoning from the plant by wearing clothes that cover your body when going to areas where you are exposed to the plant. Poison oak rash is easy to treat so you need not panic however, should your symptoms be severe, see your doctor.