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The trails here are starting to get overgrown with poison oak and I imagine soon it'll be unavoidable to make contact with it at least once through my normal loops.

If my arm/leg brushes it, how long do I have to shower/soap it off to avoid a rash?

I got poison oak as a kid a few times and I don't ever recall touching the plant so I don't think it takes a whole lot to give you a rash.
 

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Dawn dish soap within 6-8 hours of contact works for me. It's an oil so you need a good degreaser. I wash my hands and arms 3 times before anything else. If I feel an itch I'll do the dish soap thing too. Being aware of contact is key. If you go plowing through it you probably need to wash everything well including clothes. Technu is good but probably overkill unless you have no water.

If I still have a rash I do the hot water thing (as hot as you can stand in the shower) especially for bad rashes before bed. The heat will deplete the histamines in your body and you will be more likely to get some rest.
 

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^ Do not use hot water as stated above. Worst thing you can do. It opens up your pores and the oil gets in deeper. I have had poison oak over a dozen times, seen doctors, taken cortisone shots for it. It runs rampant around the forests of monterey. Wash with room temp water. Also wash everything that came in contact with it. If you get a rash use techno and cortisone cream combo. If it bubbles up get a powder mix that goes in water used for burns, can't think of the name. Soak and dry, and repeat. If all fails go to doctor and get meds!


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Elitest thrill junkie
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Key to remember is that it's an oil, and think of your skin as a rag. It's not a "separate" liquid that remains "by itself" when it comes in contact with your skin. It starts "absorbing" into it. Pores just hasten it's absorption obviously. You can break up the oil on the surface with a good soap, but it's not going to do anything for what's already absorbed into the skin. This means the proper thing to do is have some kind of "barrier" that breaks it down on contact. Barring that, washing off within an hour or so with a soap that does the same probably gives a good chance of missing it. IME more than a few hours and it's going to be with you (if you are sensitive to it).
 

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^ Do not use hot water as stated above. Worst thing you can do. It opens up your pores and the oil gets in deeper. I have had poison oak over a dozen times, seen doctors, taken cortisone shots for it. It runs rampant around the forests of monterey. Wash with room temp water. Also wash everything that came in contact with it. If you get a rash use techno and cortisone cream combo. If it bubbles up get a powder mix that goes in water used for burns, can't think of the name. Soak and dry, and repeat. If all fails go to doctor and get meds!

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I've been in contact with it thousands of times through work, hiking, and biking. The only reason you'd ever need to go to a doctor is if you've been unsuccessful in removing the oil from your skin. Hot water is a proven method of reducing itching after you've removed the oil. It is an alternative to antihistamines.

EDIT: The key is to avoid exposure (AKA recognize the plant) and if you've been exposed be sure to wash well with your degreaser of choice. Technu contains mineral spirits or something very similar. A good dish soap is very effective.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I've been in contact with it thousands of times through work, hiking, and biking. The only reason you'd ever need to go to a doctor is if you've been unsuccessful in removing the oil from your skin. Hot water is a proven method of reducing itching after you've removed the oil. It is an alternative to antihistamines.
Means nothing, possibly means that you have a natural defense, which some people do. It can't be washed "off" the skin if it's started to absorb. It's "in" the skin, and you can no more "degrease" it within your skin than you can remove your skin and throw it in the clothes washer, which still wouldn't remove it entirely even if it was possible to do.
 

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Hot water is a proven method of reducing itching after you've removed the oil.
+1 This is like a miracle treatment for me. As mentioned in the full post, this is not a method fo cleaning the oil off, but after you have already cleaned everything you are able, if you get a rash anyway, this works wonders to give you some relief from the itching.

Put the affected area under water as hot as you can stand and keep increasing the temperature as you get used to the heat. The hot water causes it to itch intensely for a while, but after a few minutes it seems to 'itch itself out' (this may be histimines being depleted as rndmrdr stated, I don't understand the mechanism, only the result). For me this usually provides a couple of hours of relief from the itching, which is plenty to fall alseep at night when it is usually the most bothersome.
 

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^ Do not use hot water as stated above. Worst thing you can do. It opens up your pores and the oil gets in deeper.
You need to work on your reading comprehension.
The poster stated "if he already had the rash" he would use the hot water trick. By the time you have a rash, you are not going to wash anymore oils off of your skin. Hot water leeches the histamines out of your skin, bringing relief from itching for 8-10 hours. When done properly, the sensation is intense, almost on an orgasmic level of intensity.
As a veteran of so many PO rashes, you should be well aware of the hot water trick. Maybe you should try it a few times instead of paying some doctor to pump you body full of chemicals.
 

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It doesn't go "in" your skin. If you wash it off soon enough it won't cause a rash. If you don't it will.
Yes, it does. Why do you think it's treated internally after the rash stage?
 

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Urushiol is NOT an oil. It is an oleoresin. It is soluble in alcohol and benzene. Given the carcinogenic effects of benzene, I don't recommend bathing in it.

Urushiol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Resin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Black Darkness Grey Monochrome Black-and-white


Interesting tidbit about the chemistry of different urushiols from different plants. Proof through chemistry that western poison oak is nastier than poison ivy and poison sumac.

IME, wiping isopropyl alcohol on a rash offers a pretty soothing cooling sensation, too. I've never found myself in western poison oak, but I'm not terribly sensitive to poison ivy.
 

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Urushiol is NOT an oil. It is an oleoresin. It is soluble in alcohol and benzene. Given the carcinogenic effects of benzene, I don't recommend bathing in it.

Urushiol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Resin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View attachment 886012

Interesting tidbit about the chemistry of different urushiols from different plants. Proof through chemistry that western poison oak is nastier than poison ivy and poison sumac.

IME, wiping isopropyl alcohol on a rash offers a pretty soothing cooling sensation, too. I've never found myself in western poison oak, but I'm not terribly sensitive to poison ivy.
O.K. it's "an oily organic allergen." I've experienced both oak and ivy and IME oak is much more intense.

I guess I'm not hip to all the sciency stuff but I will stand by (most of) my comments...

If I wash within 6-8 hours using a good dish soap (Dawn) I very rarely get a rash. If I feel an itchy spot I'll wash that with dish soap too. If I'm itchy after getting all the "oil" off I will use hot water to deplete the histamines. These are the things that have worked for me for decades and I am quite sensitive to the stuff.

I'll also add that IMO if your skin is very dry the "oil" will stick better so I like to either use a moisturizer and/or sunscreen as a "barrier."
 
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