It is that time of year again! Along with the beautiful wildflowers and fresh green grasses, poison oak is budding. If you are someone who is sensitive to poison oak, do not despair! Homeopathic constitutional treatment can make you less allergic to the plant oils that cause the painful, itchy rash. Homeopathy can also stop the progression of the rash once it starts. If you get poison oak frequently and want to have some remedies on hand, a few of the most helpful remedies are Anacardium, Apis, Graphites, Rhus tox, and Suphur (I will discuss these in detail in my next blog!). Remedy selection is based on the appearance of the rash, the sensations being experienced, the emotional state, and what makes it feel better or worse. For instance, some types of rashes feel better with application of scalding hot water. That points to a certain group of remedies and eliminates others. If you get poison oak (or poison ivy), I am happy to look at your rash, ask a few questions, and see which remedy you need to stop it from spreading and becoming more inflamed. The quicker you take a remedy, the better chance you will have of halting the progress of the inflammatory process!
Other things to keep in mind are wiping down with rubbing alcohol within a few hours of exposure will remove the oils before your body can react to them. It is also a good idea to wipe down with rubbing alcohol once you see the rash, in case there are oils in areas that haven’t become inflamed yet. Scratching often spreads poison oak, so wiping the hands is especially important. If you wake up in the morning with a poison oak rash, be sure to wash your sheets and of course the clothes you were wearing to keep from being re-exposed.