RALEIGH, N.C. — In this drought, it is tough to keep plants alive, but one menace is still out in full force this summer -- poison ivy.
Marc Burris' new home is a fixer-upper, but working in his yard put him in a real fix. He and his yard are covered with poison ivy.
"[It] never happened before and all of the sudden, Wham! It got me," he said.
The resin from poison ivy causes a red, itchy blistery rash that can spread. Some people can come in contact with poison ivy and never have a reaction. People can be sensitive as a child and not as an adult, or as in Burris' case, never have a reaction until they are an adult.
Over-the-counter ointments can relieve itching, but they do not cure poison ivy. Mild cases eventually go away, but cases like Burris' need a prescription-steroid cream and sometimes a steroid injection and oral Prednisone.
Now that his poison ivy is under control, Burris said he is ready to tackle his yard.
"I'm trying to clear out the poison ivy from the ivy," he said.
Health experts say if you do come into contact with poison ivy, wash the area and your clothes immediately. Poison ivy can also be spread from the coats of dogs.
Health experts also say blisters of the rash do not cause an additional rash. Plus, experts say touching someone with poison ivy will not spread the rash.