Is Poison Ivy rising in growth?
In response to the rising reports of poison ivy encounters and uncomfortable symptoms, a dermatologist at the Pennsylvania State University at Hershey expressed his skepticism on the subject. The news about the furor was released by Penn State.
Itchy encounters with poison ivy
The dermatologist’s name was Dr. David Adams. Adams loves the outdoors and all that it entails and has said that he hasn’t seen a rise in poison ivy plants growing or anything indicating a heavy presence of the weed. On the contrary, this is what recent news reports seem to be implying with the rise in itchy encounters.
On the Penn State website for Weed Management–more specifically for poison ivy–poison ivy is green-tinged with red, and grows almost vine-like with three leaflets usually. The weed one would think is an invasive nonnative species is a native one that covers all of the United States except for the desert regions.
Also on the website is information on how symptoms may arise when coming into contact with the plant, due to the oil it has. The toxic oil touching skin will set off a natural immune response against poison ivy, but in those who are sensitive to the oil. Note that the the severity of the symptoms vary depending on the individuals’ own immune systems.
Dr. Adams has seen the various ways a person can come into contact with the oil and says, “The most common method, though, is that someone is pulling out weeds and then they rub an eyelid or something.”
What to do when in contact with Poison Ivy
Depending on where you are in the United States, treatment for the uncomfortable symptoms may vary but usually involves some kind of cream to relieve the itchiness. Then, you just have to wait it out until the rash goes away on its own. However, Adams also said that doctors sometimes prescribe Medrol Dosepak, which doesn’t entirely work that well, with the rash coming back after initial relief.
So the best thing to do now, since it doesn’t appear the ivy population is actually rising, is to just avoid the weed with three leaves tinged red alone when gardening or otherwise outdoors.