That’s just one hazard the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) wants you to guard against as winter turns to spring and you spend more time outside.
In addition, common flowers and plants, such as chrysanthemums, Peruvian lilies, tulips and daffodil bulbs, contain chemicals that can trigger allergic skin reactions, according to an AAD news release
“Your skin can be affected by a wide variety of things you might find in your backyard, or even inside your home. While there are simple precautions that you can take, you have to be aware of what you might run into so you can protect yourself,” said Dr. Amy Chen. She is an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
For example, Dr. Julian Trevino, a dermatologist, recommends avoiding plants with “leaves of three” in order to guard against poison ivy and poison oak. It’s also a good idea to wear protective clothing and apply a barrier cream to the skin while hiking, gardening or working where these plants grow. If you are exposed to poison ivy or oak, rinse the affected area right away, he advised.
Other hazards may catch you by surprise, Trevino noted in the news release.
“People may think they’re more likely to develop a rash while hiking in the woods than enjoying a drink by the pool, but if that drink happens to be a margarita or a beer with a lime, they could end up with itchy red skin at the end of the day,” he said.
When the sun’s UV rays are combined with exposure to certain plants — such as citrus fruits, like lemons and limes — people can develop a condition called phytophotodermatitis, which leads to a rash and darkened skin, Trevino said.
Rinsing the skin and reapplying sunscreen after eating or drinking citrus in the sun can help prevent this reaction, he said.