Here in northern California there is poison oak flourishing along otherwise great hiking trails. By 4,000 feet elevation, it's no longer a threat.
|Taken on the One Eye Creek Trail near Georgetown, CA.|
|Taken on the trail to Fairy Falls, also known by other names, in the Spenceville Preserve near Camp Far West.|
|Taken at the Harvego Bear River Preserve by Steve Vilter. Used with permission.|
|On the Olmstead Loop in Cool, CA.|
|A close up of the same tall poison oak above when it was dormant.|
|Taken along the river south of the Magnolia Equestrain Staging Area along CA 49.|
- Medical sources say use rubbing alcohol as a rinse, followed by rinsing with cold water is most effective in preventing an outbreak. Avoid rubbing too much. Mainly try to rinse as much as you can. Water dilutes the oil but cannot dissolve it.
- It is not best to use hand wipes. They are not going to do much but spread the oil on your skin and rub it into your pores. Soap can't dissolve the oil either, but you can use it if you rinse well and avoid rubbing it in.
- If you can, prepare ahead by having a gallon jug of water and rubbing alcohol for cleaning up. I do carry it in my car to clean equipment anyway.
- If your dog is along, and it touches the oils, your contact with the pet can transfer the oils to your skin and it is best to wash throroughly within 5 minutes.
- Also, using rubber gloves, remove your clothes and launder immediately. The warm water will remove the oil from your clothes.
- When you are finished handling your clothing, clean oil from the gloves with rubbing alcohol.
- If you develop a rash from poison oak contact, it can be within hours or may take weeks from the time of contact. It is not contagious, even if you develop the oozing blisters. The fluid is your body's attempt to push the oils out of your system, but it does not spread the rash. If the rash spreads it is simply part of the process your body uses to attack the oils.
- Recovery may be fairly quick (average is around 10 days) or may take as long as 4-6 weeks for severe cases. Over the counter products may help according to my friends who battle this allergy, but most end up getting Predisone from their doctor.
I do not get rashes from poison oak contact. My information is from reading medical reports, websites, and from friends who hike and are allergic to it. If in question, talk to your doctor for preventative recommendations and treatment. My hope is to offer photos and descriptions that help you identify the plant and prevent contact with it.
Poison Oak Information Besides Preventing Rashes