‘One does not simply walk into Poison Oak (except that is exactly what everyone in the world does anyway) there is evil there and it does not sleep.’
It’s been a while since we’ve had the PO talk, Folks, and it’s come to my attention there are some additions to the treatment protocol which might possibly offer some more containment and/or relief. (Try not to scratch while you’re reading this!) So after removing your Tyvek suit, gloves, booties, etc. we can hit the alcohol, topical, that is. Apparently we can add rubbing alcohol to the already alarming amount of Tecnu products we will heap upon ourselves post-exposure. And LOTS of rinsing. We must neutralize and remove the urushiol oil before it spreads! I also heard in the same conversation that if we are unfortunate enough to get Poison Oak, when the rash eventually begins to oooze, that is not contagious oil but is actually a secondary problem, fungal in nature, and can be more effectively treated like an angry outbreak of Athletes Foot. Go Figure.
Poison Oak First Aid (via The CDC)
Folks who have come in contact with Toxicodendron diversilobum should:
- Immediately rinse skin with rubbing alcohol, specialized poison plant washes, degreasing soap (such as dishwashing soap) or detergent, and lots of water.
- Rinse frequently so that wash solutions do not dry on the skin and further spread the urushiol.
- Scrub under nails with a brush.
- Apply wet compresses, calamine lotion, or hydrocortisone cream to the skin to reduce itching and blistering.
- Follow the directions on any creams and lotions. Do not apply to broken skin, such as open blisters.
- Oatmeal baths may relieve itching.
- An antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can be taken to help relieve itching.
- Follow directions on the package.
- Drowsiness may occur.
- If children come in contact with urushiol oils, a pediatrician should be contacted to determine appropriate dosage.
- In severe cases or if the rash is on the face or genitals, seek professional medical attention.
- Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room if you are suffering a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or difficulty breathing, or have had a severe reaction in the past.