How To Avoid Severe Burns And Blisters From The Giant Hogweed Plant
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Have you ever heard of the Giant Hogweed plant? It is a very large (hence the name), and invasive plant that can cause painful burns, blisters, scars and even blindness if you touch the sap. It grows in the United States and is known in the states of Virginia, Maine, New York, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
It was originally brought to America in the early 1900s for its large size and beautiful flowers. However, it produces around 20,000 seeds and it has spread out of control.
If you touch a Giant Hogweed’s sap, which can be anywhere on the plant and then get some sunlight, you’re in trouble. It contains toxic chemicals when exposed to UV light from the sun. It causes severe burns and those burns can blister and leave you with permanent scars. It basically creates a reaction called phytophotodermatitis which makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Check your yard or your garden for this dangerous plant and make sure to get rid of it before it grows out of control. It does take three to five years to grow to the height of around 14 feet tall. Look for purple blotches and white hairs on the stem of the plant.
If you spot Giant Hogweed in your yard or anywhere near you, report it to a local environmental authority. They may advise you on how to remove it or give you the number of a professional who can take care of it for you to ensure your safety.
If you spotted it and accidentally got the sap on your skin or brushed up on it with bare skin in any way, the reaction could start in as little as 15 minutes. Blisters can form within two days and permanent scars can last a lifetime. Immediately wash the area with soap and water and go to a doctor immediately. They may prescribe you something that will eliminate the pain and/or scarring. Remember to keep that area away from the sun to prevent further damage. You’ll need to cover it in a bandage or wear UV-protective clothing as regular clothing could still let sunlight through.
Have you ever encountered a Giant Hogweed plant?
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