Can you name one plant that causes allergic reactions to over 85% of the worlds population when coming into contact with it? Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, & Poison Sumac are poisonous plants that dwell in most parts of the United States and can camouflage itself in your garden. Without knowing its whereabouts or its defining characteristics, this can certainly ruin a weekend if infected–over 50 million Americas fall victim to these plants each year.
Redness, itching, and blistering are all side effects of the allergic reaction that can be caused by coming into contact with these plants and not taking the proper actions to rid oneself of the infection.
- 1What is the best prevention? Identifying these plants and avoiding contact is the best prevention. “Leaves of 3, let them be, Berries white, run in fright, or Hairy vine, no friend of mine, are all friendly reminders to keep in mind when identifying these possible poisonous plants.
- 2What should you do if you have possibly been infected? Removing all clothes that were worn and taking a cold shower immediately will help reduce any chances of an allergic reaction. The oil that causes the irritation can remain on clothes for weeks at a time if not cleaned. Also, if infected, washing the urushiol oil off the skin within 24/48 hours can stop any reaction from taking place.
- 3What to do if you have been infected? Scratching will only make things worse so avoid that at all costs. Using a calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream will certainly help alleviate the itching of the rash. Also, applying cold compresses on the areas will help reduce any itch. If those remedies are not available, see the infographic below for some other helpful tips.
Next time you are curious about a mysterious green on your property or an awkward looking plant on your stroll through the woods, keep these helpful hints in this infographic in mind before grabbing what could be an itchy mistake