EAST SETAUKET, N.Y., May 2, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- "If butterflies land there, don't put your hand there" – unless
In fact, allergic contact dermatitis, which promotes intense itching, burning sensation, painful skin rash and even skin infection if a person exacerbates the affected area by repeated scratching, is most commonly the result of contact with poison ivy, says Dr. Levine, a dermatologist and family practice specialist.
Butterflies land on poison ivy because they are not sensitive to the plant's resin but are protected there from predators that avoid the plant.
Although temporary, contact dermatitis can distress patients for several weeks or more. The recommended application of calamine lotion, corticosteroid creams or cool, wet compresses to the affected skin area may lessen symptoms, but usually do not shorten the course of the disease, Dr. Levine says.
His warning about environmental allergens comes as warm weather approaches, and outdoor plants begin awakening from hibernation. More than 10 million Americans annually are infected by urushiol, the toxic oil of poisonous plants, and that number is expected to grow, according to scientists, who say the increasing carbon dioxide in the air due to climate change is fostering the growth of poison ivy and related flora.
"Urushiol is readily spread," Dr. Levine says. "You don't have to touch plants directly to become infected. Simply walking through an area of poison ivy and then later rubbing your clothes or shoes can cause an allergic skin reaction." Even the smoke from the burning of plant waste that includes poison ivy carries urushiol particles that may prompt facial swelling and skin reaction in exposed areas of the body.
For those unlucky enough to encounter poisonous ivy or any of its relatives, Dr. Levine offers these tips:
"The best medicine, of course, is prevention," Dr. Levine says. "If gardening or walking through brush or forested areas, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, socks and shoes that completely cover your feet.
"And, if it has 'leaves of three, let it be.'"
Bio: Robert Levine, DO, FAOCD, is experienced in many areas of medical and surgical dermatology with a particular interest in cosmetics.
Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. http://www.advanceddermatologypc.com.
SOURCE Advanced Dermatology P.C.
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