With all the nature the Hudson Valley has to offer it is inevitable there will be some poison ivy to deal with when enjoying the outdoors.

Whether you're hiking, landscaping, or gardening its important to know what to look out for. According to the American Skin Association, approximately 85% of all Americans are allergic to poison ivy with 10% to 15% of that number extremely allergic. Keep your eyes peeled for plants with 3 shiny green leaves and keep in mind in the spring and fall they can appear with red colors.

The itchy result is the body's reaction to a chemical called urushiol and can take up to two weeks to heal. Prevention is the best way to go but if things do get worse you can use calamine lotion and Benadryl but if conditions get extreme doctors can prescribe prednisone to help with the symptoms. When you're talking prevention, washing your hands when you come in from outside can help. Also, consider long pants and long shirt when there's a chance it can be around.

According to information recently published by Nuvance Health, there is a common myth that poison ivy can be spread by itching. This is in fact false, only the oil of the plant is contagious. It can appear days and sometimes weeks later because different layers of skin can be more resistant to the oil and take longer to penetrate.

It is important to avoid scratching as it can lead to infection. It's also important to avoid home remedies like bleach and laundry detergent as they can do more harm than good.

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