Poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac all contain the same irritating oil called urushiol. This oil bonds to the skin and can create a horrible rash, depending on how sensitive you are to the oils. Some reactions can be so serious that a person has to see a doctor for treatments.
|Robert H. Mohlenbrock. USDA SCS. 1991. Southern wetland flora: |
Field office guide to plant species. South National Technical Center, Fort Worth.
Courtesy of USDA NRCS Wetland Science Institute.
A few weeks ago I was clearing an area that was over grown with small tree saplings and the invasive English ivy. Little did I know there was a ton of poison oak vines mixed in but it was still very young and hidden amongst the English ivy. A few days later, I started breaking out, horribly. I had rashes scattered about from my ears to my ankles. And did it ever itch and burn!
I was recommended to find mullein as it is considered nature's eraser for poison oak. It worked! But only for several hours then the itching came back. I am pretty confident I have taken the leaves from all the mullein I can find, mashed them between my fingers, and rubbed every last leaf on the poison oak. When I ran out of mullein, I started itching again.
At our local pharmacy, there were all kinds of fancy, high priced, small quantity soaps that said they would remove the oils from your skin at any point after contact with poison oak. Hmmm... Dawn takes grease out of your way and is cheaper. I will take a big bottle of Dawn for $3.50 Alex!
So I came home, lathered up and waited. The itching stopped pretty quick. Now, I can not say it was all fine and dandy. The itch and burn from the poison oak was gone and the rash was reducing quite nicely and rapidly. However, I am allergic to something in the Dawn so I had a bit more itching. But it was nothing like the itch from the poison oak. Just a mild irritation.
One thing to remember, Dawn breaks up grease & oils. This includes the oils your body produces naturally to keep your skin healthy. So after a good lather and rinse, make sure you lotion up really well to replace the moisture and some of the oils that the Dawn just stripped from your skin. I promise, you will thank me for this tip.
So there you have it. Dawn takes poison oak out of your way!