Autumn's Beauty Has a Dirty Secret

By Caileen  |  Wednesday, October 1, 2014  |  , , , , ,  |  Leave comment

Dear Readers:Poison ivy in the fall. Poison oak in the fall

Did you know that you are at an increased risk of coming into contact with poison oak or poison ivy during the fall and winter months? "Why no, Caileen, we didn't. How could that be? I thought I only had to worry about that in the summer time." Well, friends, the truth is, autumn leaf pick-up is the perfect opportunity for these poison plants to contaminate you with their rash-causing oil, urushiol (ooo-roo-she-all) as they hide amongst the yard debris you so desperately desire to rid your yard of.

Unless you enjoy insufferable itching, bumps, and blisters, by all means just dive right into that big pile of autumn leaves! We joke, of course. But, little do many know, the dangers of that fun family activity of jumping in and out of leaf piles can potentially lead to a miserable rash! Don't count on the fact that you've never spotted poison oak or poison ivy plants in your yard in the past. These plants have a way of sneaking their way in, and hiding amongst plants you recognize as safe and "non-rash-causing." How does poison oak or poison ivy mysteriously make it's way into your yard? Birds! They are the #1 culprit; they eat the berries from these plants in other locations, and drop them into your yard when they fly over and poo. Gross, but true. I seek to share the truth my friends, gross or otherwise. Sorry!

IMPORTANT REMINDER: even if the plants have dropped their leaves, you can still develop a rash if you come into contact with the stems, vines, even the roots! Protect yourself by wearing long-sleeves and pants, as well as a thick pair of gloves. You can also use a cleanser that removes the rash-causing-oil, such as Tecnu® Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser. This cleanser can be used:

  • On skin to remove urushiol, and to keep the oil from spreading to other areas of your body.
  • To clean your tools (shovels, rakes, lawnmowers, etc.) to prevent secondary contamination the next time you use them.
  • To Give ole' Fido a bath the next time he runs out into a thick, brushy area and you suspect he's come back with urushiol on his coat.
  • To clean clothing and boots!

Be sure to follow all label instructions! To learn more about our favorite product, Tecnu, click here. Enjoy autumn and the beauty it brings, but be cautious when clearing your yard!

Live life. Get outdoors!

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