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Poison Oak Rash

Poison oak rash is an allergic reaction  that occurs on skin when one comes in contact with poison oak plant, which is toxic in nature. Poison oak plant produces an oily resin called urushiol which causes the reaction. Similarly, other poison plants such as poison sumac and poison ivy also produce urushiol. Though poison oak rash gives a lot of distress and discomfort, it does not pose serious problems. It is better to prevent the cause for the condition rather than going for treatment.

Poison oaks grow allover US, but are mostly found in the Southeast. It is important that people should recognize this plant and avoid its contact, thereby preventing the development of poison oak rash.

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This plant produces leaves with three leaflets and grows along with thick and wild vegetation, making it difficult to differentiate from others. As such, wearing protective cloths can assist in avoiding contact with the plant.

Symptoms of poison oak rash

The seriousness of poison oak rash depends on two factors, i.e. the degree of sensitivity of the person who comes in contact with poison oak and the body area covered by the contact.

Some symptoms of poison oak rash are given below:

  • Most individuals develop poison oak rash symptoms a few days after contact , while others may not develop the poison oak rash symptoms for many days after the initial contact, making it difficult to identify the place of contact
  • Poison oak rash develops in the form of itchy reddish curved lines along with bumps and blisters, which may appear gradually in a few weeks time. The area of poison oak rash depends only on the amount of resin contact and it does not spread by itself as it is not contagious. Formation of bumps and blisters are part of the allergic reaction.
  • Poison oak rash that spread through pets, tools, cloths are of non liner shape and more spread out.
  • Burning of poison oak plants can cause irritation of the mouth, the eyes, the lungs and air passage ways, when they are exposed to the resulting smoke.

Causes of poison oak rash

  • Any contact of toxic, oily resin named urushiol of poison oak can result in the formation of poison oak rash.
  • Poison oak rash is not contagious and it spreads only by contact of urushiol.
  • Anyone can get poison oak rash by contacting the leaves, roots, stem and  berries of the plant or other objects contaminated with urushiol.

Poison oak rash treatment

  • The use of soap water to thoroughly wash all those areas of the body that have come into contact with the poison oak plant, can help in limiting the spread of the condition. Most cases of poison oak rash disappear on its own by home care.
  • The pus and liquid ooze can be dried with compresses that employ Burow’s  solution.
  • For removing itching, one may go for medications like Benadryl or oral antihistamines.
  • Topical medications like cortisone creams can be applied on affected portion before the appearance of blisters or after they dry up.
  • If the blisters of poison oak rash get infected, antibiotics can be administered.
  • Oral steroids like prednisone may be prescribed for severe and wide spread poison oak rash.
  • Use of calamine lotion, cool compresses, and oatmeal baths also bring relief from poison oak rash symptoms.

Poison oak rash pictures

 

 

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