Poison oak or poison ivy is the plant found mostly in North America . Poison oak is also known as Toxicodendron diversilobum. These weeds are the most common cause of allergic reactions in North America . Poison oak's leaves are divided into three densely haired leaflets with three to seven distinct lobes. You could be quite unlucky if you are young or fair because young or fair people are more susceptible to it. If you scratch poison oak blisters, then the rash will not spread because it is not contagious.

Skin irritation followed by redness

Degree of patient's sensitivity, amount of exposure and the body parts exposed determines the severity of the reactions. Body parts such as eyes, lips, genitals etc are more sensitive to the poison oak sap. After 24 to 48 hours of exposure, the victim may experience skin irritation followed by redness, blistering, swelling and severe itching. Affected area may have rash characterized by itchy bumps, blisters and swelling. Symptoms may be present for seven to ten days if the infection is mild or it may last for weeks.

Contact with urushiol oil

Poison oak rash is caused when you come in contact with the oil called urushiol. Urushiol is a colorless or pale yellow oil found in the sap of poison oak. When exposed to air, it changes color to brownish-black. Avoid directly touching the sap of poison oak, it will cause problem to you. Indirect contact to the sap, by touching something on which the urushiol was present will also cause the rash, because urushiol can stick to fur, garden tools or any object that comes in its contact.

Use of aloe vera juice

Rub alcohol to the affected area, then rinse it with water and later wash with soap and water. Wet the infected area and rub plain table salt on it, this will not only relieve the victim but also stop further spread. Rub the inner side of a banana peel on the rash. This will help you to relieve itching. Place the infected area under running water. This will wash away histamines which cause itching of skin. Pour 3 cups of oats into warm water and soak the infected area into it. Simultaneously rub the affected area. Doing this will relieve you of itching. Mix 1/4 cup of bleach with 3/4 cup of warm water and apply to the affected area using a washcloth. This will kill the poison within 2 to 3 days. Apply aloe vera juice over the affected area, this will cool and provide instant relief.

Take goldenseal root

Vitamin C taken daily with bioflavonoids will prevent infection, rapid spreading of the rash and heal inflammation. Calcium and Beta-carotene helps to boost the immune system and speeds up healing. Victim must take zinc as it helps to repair damaged skin tissues. Take goldenseal, a root that is native to North America which has been used for centuries in herbal medicine.

Other Suggestions for Poison Ivy

Never burn poison oak because it can result in a dangerous smoke hazardous to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Wear full clothes and protective gear when you are in the woods. Don't allow your pets to wander in poison oak area.