Patient Resources

It’s Poison Oak Season


  • Redness and blisters
  • Eruption on exposed body surfaces (for example, hands)
  • Shaped like streaks or patches
  • Extreme itchiness
  • Onset 1 or 2 days after being in a forest or field
  • Identifiable scratches from twigs

Wear long pants and socks when walking through the woods that may contain poison oak. If you think your child has contact with poison oak, wash the exposed areas of skin with any available soap several times. Do this as soon as possible, because after 1 hour it is of little value in preventing the absorption of the oil. Teach your child to recognize these plants and avoid all plants with three leaves in a group.

Cool Soaks. Soak the involved area in cold water or massage it with an ice cube for 20 minutes as often as necessary. Then let it air dry. This will reduce the itching.
Steroid Creams. If applied early, a steroid cream can reduce the itching.
For Itching. Scratching will damage the skin. You should suppress itching with “Claritin”. For backup therapy use oral “Benedryl” or “Atarax”. One of these two medications should agree with your child in terms of sleepiness. Both medications can be pushed in dosage to the point of sleepiness. Use any over the counter topical aid for itching that contains pramoxine.

CALL OUR OFFICE During regular office hours if signs of infection occur; i.e., pus or soft yellow scabs or increasing redness while on therapy.


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poison control center phone number 1 800 222 1222