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By: Lauren McRae
If you’re heading out into the great outdoors, make sure you’re aware of which plants you come in contact with or brush up against. Summertime may bring warmer weather, but it’s also the time of the year when wild plants are known for sprouting up. Some are harder to recognize than others, and some can cause severe pain.
Jennifer S. Kim, MD, Allergist at NorthShore, shares what you should do if you come in contact with these plants:
Don’t pick these! The pretty and tiny yellow flowers on this plant are deceiving. Found throughout North America, contact with the sap of this plant can cause a painful light-sensitive rash that can cause blistering and scarring. The sap can cause blindness if it gets into the eye.
Poison ivy is the only one of the poisonous plants on this list that has three leaves, one on each side and one in the center. They’re shiny with smooth or slightly notched edges. Poison oak is similar, but the leaves are larger and more rounded.
When the leaves of this plant are bruised or damaged, it releases an oil called “urushiol” which can cause dermatitis, and uncomfortable allergic rash.
More benign than others on this list, you should still watch out for this one if handled incorrectly. Interestingly, despite the danger of touching this plant, once cooked it can be healthy to eat.
For Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac symptoms and treatment are the same: