Not your Parents’ Poison Ivy

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 11:18 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - You might not think poison ivy is a problem across the South Plains because it likes the humidity in East Texas better but a Lubbock doctor says don’t be fooled.  Much of the green stuff we plant out here was rooted elsewhere and moved to this area.

Dr. Michelle Tarbox is a Dermatologist and Texas Tech Physician.  She says researchers have discovered that poison ivy is a bigger threat today than what you might have been exposed to as a child. “We’ve discovered that poison ivy is becoming more populous because of increasing temperatures and it’s also having a greater concentration of the toxic oil called urushiol,” she says.

It’s that oil that causes the rash that makes you itch.

Turns out this newer, meaner poison ivy can produce a meaner rash, often in a line of blisters.            

Dr. Tarbox says after you’ve walked away from poison ivy,  you could develop a rash and scratching that could make it worse. She says that’s because we can spread the oil as it slips under our fingernails.

Oddly enough, two people could both be exposed to the same poison ivy, but only one might develop the rash. The reason? Eighty percent of people exposed to the leaves will break out in blisters while twenty percent will be unaffected.

Whether you are exposed to poison ivy from something you have planted … or from some place you have stepped during a hike or outdoor fun, Dr. Tarbox has a list of instructions that could help ease your discomfort.

For that and more check out the video on this page.

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