Spring has officially arrived and graced us with some beautiful weather over the past few weeks, leading to more and more park visitors through the week. While out and about in the park there is plenty to see with a lot of our plants coming into bloom, but there are also some plants to be weary of.
The most infamous of them is Poison Ivy. You can find this plant growing up the side of trees or along the side of trails throughout the spring, summer, and fall season. Poison Ivy causes irritating and itchy rashes to appear on your body where you have made contact with the oils produced by the plant. One of the most helpful things you can do to prevent yourself from getting these rashes is to know what the plant looks like and avoiding it. Below is a picture of the plant from the and a description.
Based on the picture you can see that each leaf has 3 small leaflets. The outside leaves appear to stick out. It grows as a vine in the East, Midwest, and South of the United States. In spring, it grows yellow-green flowers and it may have green berries that turn off-white in early fall.
If you know that you are planning to be in a wooded or dense area you should make sure to wear appropriate clothing that can cover exposed areas or use a skin-care product called an ivy block barrier. This helps prevent the skin from absorbing the oil (urushiol), which causes the rash. These products usually contain bentoquatam. You can buy these products without a prescription. Be sure to apply the block before going outdoors.
If you find yourself in an area with Poison Ivy, it helps to remember that all parts of these plants contain urushiol. The leaves, the stems, and even the roots contain urushiol. Touching any part of the plant can cause an allergic reaction. You can have an allergic reaction from touching gardening tools, sporting equipment, and even a pet’s fur if it has come in contact with urushiol. Burning these plants releases urushiol into the air and you can have an allergic reaction if airborne particles land on your skin.
If you are unlucky enough to come into contact with poison ivy and get a rash there are some easy steps you can take to help combat the irritation and itchiness as well as dry up the spots. Below are 9 possible steps you can take.
By following these precautions and remedies you can prevent Poison Ivy from putting a damper on your springtime fun!Photo and video from the American Academy of Dermatology.
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