When I was a kid, I was deathly allergic to poison ivy.

It didn't help either, that as a kid, know exactly which plant was poison ivy proved disastrous. Many times, I was covered head to toe in scratchy, ooze-y sores that caused my mom to chase me around the house, trying to keep it all under control. But I remember one time, I even got it in my mouth. It was crazy.

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It can also be dangerous. The poison ivy rash, when it gets into the wrong parts of your body can be quite harmful. Like accidentally ingesting the smoke if you burn it in a brush pile, or if you didn't know it was on your hands and you stuck your fingers up your nose or in your mouth, like I did at 6-years old.

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What about seasons other than summer?

Raking fallen leaves in the garden
Zbynek Pospisil
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Here's what's super insidious about poison ivy... Even after it basically shrivels up and dies for the year, the oils from the plant, which are what cause the rash, are still quite present. So you may be doing yard clean up in the late fall or spring when no plants are visible anywhere, and still manage to get the rash, according to Maine.gov.

TSM photo
TSM photo
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Imagine not knowing that this was a thing, and having a mysterious unexplained rash all over? You'd probably end up at the doctor's office. Luckily, your doctor has probably seen this sort of thing before and will put your mind at ease pretty quickly. Of course, then you still have to suffer through the rash. Yay. But at least you'll know why.

globalmoments
globalmoments
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What can you do if you know you came in contact with poison ivy?

All the basic summer rules apply. Even if you aren't totally sure, you should always come inside from yard work, and take off your work clothes and hop in the shower, frankly, trying to touch as little of your body as you can. Then scrub-a-dub! The quicker you get all those potential oils off your skin, the better.

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You absolutely need to throw all those clothes in the laundry as well. Not that a lot of people wear dirty clothes, but it's easy to think you could just throw your grubby work clothes back on, if you're going out to do more grubby work. So even though poison ivy is still trying to get you out in the cold, don't give in. You'll win, I promise. Or, you'll scratch yourself to sleep that night...

I know suffering through poison ivy has to be in here somewhere...

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