The Eclectic Physician
Natural Health Care
by Beth Burch N.D.
A contact dermatitis which results from contact with the irritating oil,
urushiol found in the poison oak family. Not all people are sensitive,
many are highly sensitive. It is not necessary to directly contact the
plant, contact with clothing or a pet that has the resinous oil on it can
produce the characteristic rash. Even breathing the smoke of burning plants
can cause a reaction in some people. Poison ivy and sumac are prevalent
on the East Coast, poison oak on the West Coast. Washing with soap and
water or even just water within fifteen minutes of contact will prevent
the rash. If not washed off, it can take from 4 hours to 10 days to have
a reaction. The rash can be just simple redness, or there can be blisters.
It usually itches and burns. If the blisters are broken, then crusts will
form. It is not contagious.
Jewelweed- Applied soon after exposure, it binds to the skin
preventing the urushiol from binding. Fresh plant juice or liquid extract
made from fresh plant is the most effective.
Gumweed- The liquid extract from diluted with a little water
makes a good lotion to apply to the rash.
* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate.
It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.