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What is Poison Oak?

Poison oak is a plant that is commonly found in the western United States and parts of Canada. It is similar to poison ivy in that it contains an oil called urushiol that can cause an itchy, blistering rash in many people who come into contact with it.

Poison oak grows as a shrub or a vine and is typically found in wooded areas, along fences and hedges, and in gardens. It has small, green, waxy leaves that are arranged in groups of three, similar to poison ivy. The plant produces small, yellow or green flowers and small, white or tan berries.

If you come into contact with poison oak, it's important to wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible to remove the oil from your skin. Over-the-counter creams and lotions can help to alleviate symptoms, and a healthcare professional may prescribe stronger medications if necessary. It's also a good idea to avoid coming into contact with poison oak in the future by learning to identify the plant and taking precautions when spending time in areas where it may be present.

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