Poison Oak

ExitCare ImagePoison oak is a rash caused by touching the leaves of the poison oak plant. You may have a rash with redness and itching. Sometimes, blisters appear and break open. Your eyes may get puffy (swollen). Poison oak often heals in 2 to 3 weeks without treatment.


  • If you touch poison oak:

  • Wash your skin with soap and water right away. Wash under your fingernails. Do not rub the skin very hard.

  • Wash any clothes you were wearing.

  • Avoid poison oak in the future. Poison oak usually has 3 leaves on a stem.

  • Use medicines to help with itching as told by your doctor. Do not drive when you take this medicine.

  • Keep open sores dry, clean, and covered with a bandage and medicated cream, if needed.

  • ExitCare ImageAsk your doctor about medicine for children.


  • You have open sores.

  • Redness spreads beyond the area of the rash.

  • There is yellowish white fluid (pus) coming from the rash.

  • Pain gets worse.

  • You have a temperature by mouth above 102° F (38.9° C), not controlled by medicine.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.