The Local Knowlege

Health & Fitness

Poison Ivy gets performanced enhanced

By Ron Kaspriske

Slice your tee shot into the jungle? Before you begin your search, remember to tread lightly. Waiting for you in the bushes just off the fairway is a more-prolific and more-poisonous form of poison ivy than in year's past. And golfers can thank global warming for that.

the-loop-poison-ivy-300.jpgAs carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere thanks to things such as automobile pollution, scientists reporting to the United States Department of Agriculture have found that poison ivy is thriving and becoming more toxic. Contact with toxicodendron radicans, as scientists know it, is known to cause skin rashes in 80 percent of humans who touch it. High-C02 plants produce a more allergenic form of urushiol, which is the substance in ivy that causes dermatitis.

Typically poison ivy can be identified by three, spade-shaped leaflets (most often green). Sometimes greenish flowers and ivory-colored berries can be found near the stem. Golfers who play heavily wooded courses should cover their skin before leaving the fairway to search for a ball. If you come in contact with poison ivy, don’t scratch the ensuing rash as bacteria under your fingernails can infect the area. Treat the area with hydrocortisone cream, take an oral antihistamine and keep the rash area cool with a damp cloth, ice cubes, or a cold bath. It can take up to two weeks for it to go away.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.


(Photo by Getty Images)
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July 28, 2014

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