Posted by Upstate Dermatology on Feb.20.15 in Skin Care
What may start as a seemingly harmless walk in the park or day of yard work can quickly take a turn for the worse when common plants come into contact with your skin.
Many outdoor plants can cause an adverse skin reaction simply by brushing up against them.
The most well-known and feared plants associated with skin rashes and irritation are poison ivy, oak and sumac. The allergy to poison ivy and oak is very common and nearly half of us will have it. Those with the allergy are reacting to a chemical from the plant called Uroshiol.
While outdoors, remember that the leaves of posion ivy, oak and sumac can be spotted and be avoided. Our mothers have passed down from their mothers the infamous phrase, “Leaves of three, let them be.”
To minimize the risk of such skin reactions, here are some tips:
- Wear protective clothing whenever possible – including gloves (preferably vinyl gloves), long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks.
- Apply an over-the-counter barrier cream or lotion containing quaternium-18 bentonite to exposed skin before going outdoors. This helps prevent urushiol from poisonous plants from contacting the skin.
- Avoid poisonous plants (remember this phrase: “leaves of three, let it be”).
Remember – when outside, have fun, be informed and be safe.