'Tis the season for Hiking and trail running. There's a lot of beauty in these woods, but you got to be careful and avoid the poison ivy that lurks at the edges of the forest. Yes, it pays to know your enemy.
First off, it is the uroshiol oil on the plant that is the culprit and creates the horrible itchy, blistery skin reactions associated with poison ivy. While some people don't have a reaction to the oil, others may be hospitalized because their reaction is so severe. You should also know that even if you've been exposed to poison ivy and had no reaction, you are not necessarily immune to it. People can develop reactions at any time of their lives, so it is best to avoid poison ivy at all costs.
You will experience symptoms wherever the oil makes contact with your skin. First you will get a red, itchy spot on your skin, that develops into blisters. Once you wash your skin with soap and cold water, the rash won't spread. If you pop the blisters, the rash won't spread either, but the wounds could become infected so it is best not to pop them.
Many plants can look like poison ivy, so pay close attention whenever you're walking in moist areas. The rule "Leaves of 3, Let it be," doesn't always work. It can grow in groups of 3 leaves, with a larger middle leaf, but it can also grow up to 9 leaves in a group.
Want to know what to look out for, then read more