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Feeling Sick? It Could be Poison Oak

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Do you love the outdoors? Chances are, if you’ve spent any time outside in the wilderness, you’ve probably encountered poison oak. This plant is notorious for causing an irritating skin rash and, in some cases, a severe allergic reaction. This condition is caused by the urushiol oil on the plant and can lead to symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

This article will explore the causes and symptoms of poison oak sickness. We’ll also dive deeper into how to prevent and treat the condition.

What Causes Poison Oak Sickness?

When the oils on poison oak come into contact with human skin, it often leads to an allergic skin reaction. The oils, known as urushiol, most commonly cause a skin rash. However, some people may experience a more severe sickness. The symptoms of poison oak sickness result from the body’s immune system overreacting to urushiol.

Symptoms of Poison Oak Sickness

Most commonly, poison oak causes an itchy rash and discomfort. However, in some incidences, the symptoms can be more severe, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the face, eyes, mouth
  • Rash
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever

These symptoms can become extreme, and if left untreated, poison oak sickness can lead to severe complications, such as anaphylactic shock. You should contact your doctor or medical provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

How to Treat Poison Oak Sickness

If you know you have come in contact with poison oak, ivy, or sumac, you should immediately begin by cleaning the infected area using Tecnu Detox Wipes. These convenient wipes can be applied on the go-to clothing, fabrics, tools, and more to remove urushiol from the site. In addition to this, you can also scrub the skin with Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub. Next, apply Tecnu Calagel Anti-Itch Gel to the area. This topical, over-the-counter anti-itch gel adds instant relief and can be used on poison ivy/oak, insect bites, sunburn, minor burns, and other skin irritants. Monitor the rash and keep the area clean and contained. A poison oak allergic reaction should clear up within two weeks.

If you begin to experience more extreme symptoms associated with poison oak sickness, contact your doctor immediately.

How to Prevent Poison Oak Sickness

There are several ways to prevent poison oak sickness, and the best method is to avoid contact with urushiol and poison oak plants. Here are several tips to help prevent poison oak sickness:

  • Learn to identify poison oak and avoid contact with the plant
  • Wear added layers of clothing during outdoor activities
  • Wash your skin as soon as possible if you come into contact with poison oak
  • Clean tools, apparel, equipment, and anything else that came into contact with poison oak

A brush with poison oak can leave you feeling uncomfortable and, in more severe cases, very sick. If you suspect poison oak sickness, you should seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, take preventative measures to ensure poison oak sickness does not strike again.