Does anyone have a remedy for poison oak, or a way to prevent getting it on one's legs while scaling logs? I'm ashamed to say it, but this is the best revenge a logger ever had on this sawmiller.
This may sound silly but trust me, it works for poison ivy:
Get a tea bag and have yourself a cup of tea. Save the bag, place it over the affected area and tie it in place, or take a old elastic sock top and slide it over your arm or leg to hold the tea bag in place. Just let the tea bag dry, and as it does it will pull out the oils. DO NOT place a boiling hot tea bag on your body; let it cool first.
The reason not everyone has problems is that the itching, swelling rash is an allergic reaction to the plant resin. The more allergic you are, the worse your outbreak will be.
The key to avoiding problems is to keep the resin off your skin. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. If you do get the resin on your skin, wash it off with soap and water as soon as possible.
If you break out with the itching, swelling, blisters etc., the best treatment is to visit your doctor for the appropriate medication. This may be in the form of oral medication or shot(s).
Learn to identify the plant(s) and try to remember to ask if the logs came from an area with poison oak. The important thing is to keep the resin off of your skin, however you choose to accomplish that.
It's awesome stuff. The other lotions just try to ease the itching. This stuff actually makes it GO AWAY.
Bailey's Logging Supply used to carry the stuff. That's where I first got it, but a lot of drug stores and I think some Wal-Marts have it now, too.
The tea bags contain tannins, which are useful in drying.
Comment from contributor S:
I have run into poison oak a lot while clearing land in the Sierra. Whenever I take a "hit" with skin contact from the plant, I try to respond with a simple preventative treatment within 10-20 minutes. Time is important. My favorite treatment is bicarbonate of soda and water, mixed into a paste, spread on the skin and allowed to dry. It seems to work to prevent the onset of irritation. The alternate is alcohol, which seems less effective for me, but soothes the skin a bit.
I've found that treating each spot in this way gave me several hours of relief and I think helped stimulate the circulation towards clearing it up and drying it out all at the same time. On one particularly bad case, I did this in the morning, went home at lunch and repeated, which got me through the work day. For lesser cases, where the inflammation is on the arm or wrist, I was able to handle it in the restroom sink periodically through the day.