15 Mar Rash Warning: Arizona’s No Longer an “Allergy Haven”
According to the University of Arizona, the state is no longer an “allergy haven,” and researchers are warning residents that some parts of Arizona are actually allergy hubs. Spectrum Dermatology has also noticed this change. For example, in Tucson, there are twice as many incidents of asthma and hay fever than in the entire country!
Many of the plants that cause allergic reactions in Arizona include airborne elements. For example, many people are allergic to pollen in junipers. These types of allergic reactions do not cause a rash—but there are other plants in the area that do. A lot of people are surprised to learn that both poison oak and poison ivy are prevalent in some parts of the state.
Part of the joy of living in Arizona is taking in the beautiful landscapes. Hiking is a popular activity, but if you seek out lush greenery, you’ll also want to be careful. The majority of people are allergic to the urushiol oil on poison ivy and poison oak. The National Institutes of Health report that around 85 percent of people who come in contact with this plant will develop a rash that sometimes blisters.
The rash itself isn’t contagious, but the oil can easily spread. It also “sticks” to clothes and anything else you might touch. If you believe you’ve been in contact with a poisonous plant, even if you’re lucky enough to be immune, it’s important to wash anything you’ve touched immediately. Otherwise, you might spread the oil to family and friends.
Most rashes from these poisonous plants will start to appear nearly 72 hours after exposure. However, you can’t consider yourself officially immune until it’s been 7 – 10 days after contact. Also, keep in mind that just because you were immune in the past doesn’t mean you will be in the future. Our allergens and reactions can change throughout the years.
Don’t Wait – Contact Spectrum Dermatology Today!
Unfortunately, Arizona also has the poison sumac. It’s a less common part of the poisonous shrub family, and most often found along the Mississippi River. If you’re heading out for a spring hike, bear in mind the warning: Leaves of three, let them be. If you do come into contact and start developing a rash, call Spectrum Dermatology immediately at 480-948-8400.