Poison oak looks quite harmless, but anyone who comes into contact with the plant can break out into a rash that is unpleasant at the least and tends to worsen as it progresses. Some affected people develop bumps and blisters that ooze with liquid, and others may experience life-threatening allergic reactions that require emergency treatment. The best way to prevent rashes is to avoid coming into contact with this plant.
There are two types of poison oak: Pacific or western and Atlantic. The Pacific variety grows as far south as the Baja Peninsula and as far north as British Columbia, but mainly hugs the western region of the continent. Atlantic poison oak grows in the southeastern part of the United States. In general, the plant grows in woodland areas where it easily blends into landscapes.
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