|My husband and I were hiking in Topanga Canyon in California. We came across a plant that I think is poison oak. It had the "leaves of three" and had a lot of red in it. It grew low to the ground near a little stream. We both had severe reactions. I had a scratch on my side that came into contact with the plant. This area became extremely red and swollen. I had to see a dermatologist and get a shot for the swelling, some steroid pills, and some topical steroid cream. The cream helped with the itching, but it took a VERY long time for the area to heal.
The strange part is that for well over a year after the initial exposure we both continued to get new outbreaks. This generally happened when our skin became injured or irritated in any way. For instance, whenever I got a bruise, I would develop the rash exactly over the bruise just about the time the bruise was beginning to heal. Is it normal for a poison oak encounter to cause a reoccuring reaction that lasts over a year???