Doctors warn the population to watch out for Poison Ivy this summer as one of the many possible hazards to our skin. Recent reports have stated that due to the rise of carbon emissions, the toxic plant is becoming stronger and can cause more intense breakouts than it did in the past fifteen years.
However, doctors are quick to disclaim these statements and inform the public that Poison Ivy has suffered little change throughout time, but still wish to make a reminder about its effects. The most severe cases have been met in the summer, usually with people attempting to pull the weeds from their front yard, but it’s not to be underestimated in the winter either.
The vines can wrap around and live on Christmas trees, so they caution care to people when handling any sort of plants that might be latched onto the tree’s trunk before putting it in their homes with their family and, especially, children.
Doctors also wish to debunk the myth that just touching the plant can cause a breakout. What is truly the cause of the itchiness is a toxic substance named urushiol oil, an allergen found within the stems, roots and leaves of Poison Ivy. It requires for either of those three parts to break in order for the clear liquid to come in contact with the skin.
The irritation caused also depends on prior exposure. The symptoms take up to 10 days after exposure to appear for first-time victims while those with past experience with Poison Ivy can notice scratchy breakouts in just one or two days.
Even if the plant is dead or dried or both, urushiol oil is still stable inside, thus remains hazardous if it comes if it touches the skin.
The rash is not in any way contagious and it’s said that 1 in 4 people will not have a reaction to Poison Ivy, meaning that 75% of the population should be on the watch out for itchy rashes or irritations if they come into contact with the plant. While breakouts may not occur the first time, the person can become allergic over time regardless and develop symptoms.
Doctors also advise to avoid fires that may have bits of Poison Ivy among the other dead plants. The exposure to smoke and airborne urushiol oil can cause anyone to exhibit rashes, swelling and itching across their face. It’s a warning for those planning on barbecues on their front lawn this summer.
Most cases of Poison Ivy exposure can be treated easily with lotions and creams such as calamine or cortisone found at any local pharmacy. However, if the breakout persists to an unbearable levels, people are urged to pay a visit to their doctor for stronger prescription medicine that will help.
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