Happy summer everyone! With the warmer weather comes a different set of skin health issues than we see during the cooler months. Your skin can be damaged by sunburn, assaulted by flying insects, or, if you enjoy working in the garden, hiking or camping, your skin can come in contact with poisonous plants.
Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are three commonly found plants whose oil, known as urushiol (you-ROO-shee-all), has been known to cause an allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), a type of eczema that is an allergic reaction at the site of exposure. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 85% of people will develop a rash when they get urushiol on their skin. The reaction can range from a minor rash and itch to a more severe reaction with blistering and swelling.
The best way to avoid getting poison ivy, oak or sumac is to learn how to identify each of these plants. The old saying, “leaves of three, let it be” is a good place to start, although there are species of these plants with more than three leaflets. Continue reading