Having recently moved to California, I have come to know and respect the heinous potential of poison oak. What a powerful and tricky plant! Chemical compounds called urushiols bring the burn in both poison oak and in poison ivy, which after contact, sink into your skin. Washing with soap and water (just water won’t do as the urushiols repel water) as soon as you come in contact with poison oak or ivy is key. Be sure to take a jar with you on your adventures through the woods!