|i have allergic reactions to poison oak/ivy and typically develop red welts that are 8-10" around and swell 1/2" out as well as *many* large balloons of yellow ooze that weap if left alone. scratching the skin makes it worse, basically your skin is reacting to the oils and you need to "calm your skin down" as quickly as possible.
i take 2-3 hot showers a day, start out with pretty hot and let it sit on affected areas till i cant feel heat or tingle, then increase heat and keep on for about 10-15 minutes...relief lasts a few hours. right after the shower i quickly dab and compress domeboro all over the area to help deal with the oozing, it slows it down enough to walk without tossing the ooze about.
i only go to the doc for predisone (10 day or more if needed) if the swelling cannot be controlled with otc creams or within 2-3 days. the steriod slows down your body's defensive reaction to the oil. i once went to the doc as soon as i noticed the first bump and the predisone got rid of it pretty damn quick, so its probably best to spend the money/time with the doc instead of the otc crap like zypha-whatever. there are prescription creams in the 5% range (otc is 1%) and they work very well.
be sure to thouroughly clean or toss out anything that you had on or were near (bed sheets, rags, glasses, clothes, etc) during exposure as they can hold on to the oils for a bit and can cause a "oh no, its back" situation. what is on your skin either is absorbed or washed away in 2-3 hours.
oh yeah, if you get into the plant and know it...dont panic, simply hop in the shower (or use a garden hose) within the first 15 mins of contact and rinse with COLD water for about 10-15 minutes...do not use soap, do not use any amount of warmth...the oils will be mostly washed away since the cold will help to close pores and oil will get pushed off by the water, soap will allow it to linger and warmth opens the pores.
sorry for the length of my reply, best of luck everyone...im oozing as i type. ;)