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Blame Weather For Our Poison Ivy Boom

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Maple Plain camper Arville Halvorson loves being in the outdoors with his family. But poison ivy is certainly not a treasured part of this pastime.

“Scratchy, itchy, stingy pain. I don’t want it,” Halvorson said.

But it seems people around the metro are getting it, according to Dr. April Farrell of Doctor’s Skin Care in Orono.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of that in our clinic this summer. Kind of speculating that the weather we had this spring – with all the rain and then the heat – has possibly led to some different growth patterns and increased exposure for people,” Dr. Farrell said.

She says it’s not just poison ivy, but also poison oak and sumac.

“Usually it’s been people who’ve been out, you know, out in the yard, out camping, out hiking and they have brushed across it without realizing it,” she said.

Dr. Farrell says she often sees it on hands and shins in streaky and linear formations, and its pink and red in color. If you think you’ve been around it, she says to wash your body, clothes and anything you’ve touched with soap right away.

She says these plants are sneaky.

“The allergic reaction typically will take anywhere from 12-48 hours to come out after the exposure so it’s not an instant reaction,” Dr. Farrell said.

She adds that about 40 percent of people are not allergic at all to these plants.

Poison ivy repellent is currently on the market.

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