What Does Poison Oak Look Like?
"If I had known it was poison oak, I wouldn't have stuffed it in my pants." Alas, how many blisters and rashes could be avoided with a little knowledge? Well, poison oak is found along the Western seaboard, from Southern California to British Columbia. Another strain is native to the southeastern United States. It can be a shrub (large or small) or a vine, and sometimes it can look like part of a tree.
Each leaf is composed of three leaflets, which kind of resemble oak leaves. Poison ivy also boasts three leaflets – hence the expression, "leaves of three, let it be." Poison oak will look brilliant in the fall (flaming orange and red), and you'll be tempted to add some to a bouquet or shove it down your pants. Save your body from having to get rid of poison oak by avoiding it.
Get Rid of Poison Oak Rash Naturally
Cool baths with Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal. Oatmeal baths are one of the oldest, most effective ways to get rid of poison oak itching and burning. Taking a cool bath will constrict blood vessels, and the oatmeal makes the water feel like silk. Oatmeal baths moisturize, soften, and protect skin. Just be careful getting out of the tub – this stuff makes everything break-neck slippery.
No Aveeno? Take a cool bath with a Quaker. Colloidal oatmeal isn't anything special. It's just been ground into a fine powder so that it won't settle on the bottom of the tub. That Quaker will work though. Throw some in your blender and "poof"…it's colloidal. It will also work as flakes. Just add five cups to lukewarm bathwater. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes and be gentle with your towel.
Make a soothing paste. You can stick with oatmeal, but baking soda, Epsom salts, or cornstarch also work well as a paste. Generally, you'll need around two teaspoons of water for every six teaspoons of ingredient. It depends how messy you want the paste. Slop this stuff on your poison oak rash (not open blisters). It will provide temporary relief from the itching.
Apply tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is great for many skin conditions, but it also will help get rid of poison oak rashes. It aids the skin in the healing process, but more importantly, it has antimicrobial properties. This is good, as infection is the #1 complication associated with poison oak and poison ivy. Look for pure tea tree oil at any whole foods store.
Use hot, hot water?
During my research I came across a few publications that suggested using very hot water – as hot as you can stand – to get rid of poison oak itching. Your rash will itch very intensely for a few minutes (you'll yearn for death) and then, overloaded with stimulus, the nerve endings will shut down (you'll love life), leaving you itch-free for a few hours.