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Aside from directly touching the plant, people can get a rash when come in contact with contaminated clothes, backpacks, garden tools and even pet fur. A person’s reaction to urushiol can vary over time. Some might notice the appearance of rashes after a few hours of direct contact. Others might take a few days to see the symptoms. Signs of poison oak rash include itching, redness and blistering. Knowing what to do when the rash breaks out can help in relieving symptoms.
The instant rashes begin to appear on the skin, it is best to avoid constant scratching. There are home remedies that work to relieve the rash.
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap to prevent the further spread of urushiol.
- Prepare a wet compress and apply on rashes to relieve swelling and itchiness.
- Try taking a bath with cold water to minimize redness.
- Apply rubbing alcohol directly on rashes. This will help remove any remaining particles of urishiol.
- Apply calamine lotion to soothe the blisters and cool down skin.
Natural and medical treatments
Natural treatments to poison oak rash can also help relieve the itchiness, blistering and redness. Some examples include the direct application of aloe vera and tea tree oil. These can help heal the sores and dry up blisters. If rashes are found to be severe, it might be a good idea to consult a doctor right away. The physician can prescribe antihistamines or over-the-counter cortisone creams or calamine lotion as treatment. It is advised to apply the cream as soon as possible or before the appearance of blisters for quick relief. There are other effective drying agents that can help soothe the skin. They can be directly applied to the affected area until the oozing of the blisters stop. Beware of excessive application since it can cause the rash to become too dry.The dryness can cause rashes to crack and itch again. Examples of common drying agents are baking soda and Burow’s solution or aluminum acetate.
Severe cases of the rash affect the face and cause rapid blistering. The doctor may prescribe oral steroids that can quickly reduce blistering and itching. This type of treatment should be maintained within ten to fourteen days or as directed by the physician. Consistent treatment over this period but in decreasing doses can prevent poison oak rash from coming back.
Getting more information about the different types of poison oak treatment is advisable. Being prepared is the key to quick rash remedies. Avoid contact with poison oak in the future by wearing protective clothing when hiking or camping in the woods. Be familiar with the pictures of poisonous plants to identify them even from afar. Prevention is still better than cure.