Green List of Skin Irritants

Starting the day, cherishing the lush greenery can be a bright idea, unless it ends with bristles and rashes on your skin caused by the seemingly harmless plants. Skin contact with a potentially hazardous plant can result in cutaneous irritations that can range from mild to severe, sometimes needing immediate medical attention.

However, people respond to these irritants in variety of ways and the effect is not visibly same in every person. Preventive methods include wearing gloves and protective attires to avoid contact, washing hands thoroughly on accidental contact, and consulting a physician in case of adverse effects. However, one of the most important module under preventive methods include proper identification of these skin irritant plants, which is precisely the objective of this article.

green list of skin irritantsTypes of Skin Irritant Plants

The following list provides you with information on some of the potentially perilous plants, so that you may be aware of their presence in the bushy flora around you:

Poison Plants

The plants included under this category are poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. These plants are of high toxicity due to the presence of a toxin known as urushiol oil in the sap of these plants. When this compound comes in contact with the skin, it causes skin rashes and blisters. However, the puss from skin blisters is not contagious. The toxicity can spread even when these plants are burnt. The toxin fumes thus liberated contain particles of urushiol which when inhaled can cause severe respiratory problems.

Allergenic Plants

The shoot or some particular parts of these plants can act as allergens and hence cause severe reactions in some people. The plants under this category are tulip bulbs, orchids, chrysanthemums, and dahlias. The pollen released from these plants can cause severe allergic reactions such as hay fever or asthma or even severe skin rashes in some people.

Skin Irritant Plants

Various plants of this category are known to cause characteristic skin irritations like bristles and swollen rashes. Spurges, daffodils, pencil cactus, poinsettias, buttercups and water hyacinths and trumpet creepers. Spurges, for example, contain white, milky sap which is a mild skin irritant and also a recognized carcinogenic.

Photo Dermatitis Causing Plants

These are plants belonging mostly to the Carrot family such as giant hogweed and wild parsnip, the Moraceae family like garden rue, fig trees and gas plant, the Rue family, Rutaceae family and the Mulberry family. Skin exposure to the plant sap and sunlight cause eruption of blisters within hours. The reaction of furocoumarin chemicals in the plants and the UV A light in sunlight result in the formation of this deadly toxin.

Thorn Plants

Roses, black locust, honey locust trees, raspberry and blackberry bushes, prickly pear possess thorns that can cause skin infections when the spines or thorns get under your skin. They cause bumpy, itchy eruptions. Though characteristically innocuous, fungal infection can be caused if the microbes enter the skin along with the infringing spine.

So, beware of the above mentioned flora as their contact can cause adverse effects on your skin. Seek expert help immediately on contact to prevent complication.

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