Poison Ivy Comes a Creepin’

6a00e55255b462883401901bd2ba68970b-200wi“Leaves of three, let them be.” If you find yourself out walking as the weather gets warmer, be sure to step out of the way of any plants with clumps of three leaves. Poison ivy can have many different appearances.

The best way to tell if it’s poison ivy is the number of leaves, the reddish color at the point the three stems meet, and the shape of the edge of the leaves. If you are working in the garden or on the lawn pulling up “runners” before the leaves are fully formed, be
sure to wear extra thick gloves, and know the plants in your yard. Some of these runners may be poison ivy, and you may find out the hard way 2 days later.

Remember that the active ingredient, the urishiol, can last on shoes, clothing, garden tools and gloves almost indefinitely (some poison ivy oil has even been found in Egyptian tombs!) Some of the “spreading” of poison ivy is actually caused by contacting smaller amounts of poison ivy from garden items, pets, and furniture, once your sensitivity has been elevated by a big skin reaction to poison ivy.

So always wash off anything coming in contact with poison ivy immediately with detergent and hot water. Holistic
dermatology advocates many treatments for skin disorders, including the best one:  prevention.

To your health,

Dr. Dattner

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine
New York


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to
treat or diagnose an illness; please see your physician for care.