Who likes poison ivy? Nobody, right? Actually, Umar Mycka, a horticulturalist at the Philadelphia Zoo, has reason to be growing quite fond of the rash-causing weed. He has started a business removing poison ivy for people who are itching to get rid of it. He is getting plenty of requests, too. A recent study at Duke University shows that rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere cause the weed to grow more vigorously, and they may eventually cause a more toxic form of poison ivy resin to be formed. Even now, an acute case can require steroids or hospitalization. Most people who contract the rash simply did not look out for poison ivy. Keep an eye on what you are touching and wear appropriate clothing if you’re going to be out in weeds or the woods.
And I found out that it is not just touching poison ivy that can cause a rash. I had some in my backyard in DC, and decided to get rid of it before my daughter starting messing around with it. I put on gloves, long sleeves, pants, tucked everything in and went about removing the vine.
What I did not do was wear a mask, and lo and behold, I inhaled the spores. Let me tell you, this rash was worse as the spores went to my lungs and caused many other problems.
And yes, steroids were the ONLY thing that would correct the problem. I have learned my lesson for sure.