One of my favorite things about Fall is it's the last opportunity to go hiking. The city is filled with tourists enjoying the proverbial NY in the Fall, and I get to escape to the mountains for one last hike. The trees are in their utmost glory and the air is always crisp. One thing I don't like about hiking is the potential of poison ivy. It definitely makes you itch & scratchy.
Did you know that not everyone has a problem with poison ivy though? Most of us do though, & experts estimate that 3 out of 4 people will react. It's actually a type of allergy to a chemical called uroshiol. Uroshiol is an oil found on the leaves of poison ivy, poison sumac, & poison oak. Now, this is a different type of allergy than one that makes you sneeze or cough, it is called a contact allergy. It takes place typically about 2 days after you encounter it and can cause problems for people who are allergic to it. The symptoms can last for anywhere between 5-12 days!
A common myth about uroshiol allergy is that it's contagious- it's not. After you develop the allergy, most of the uroshiol oil (if you bath on a regular basis) on your skin has typically been washed off & you are left with only the allergic reaction.
Want to know an interesting factoid? People allergic to uroshiol will also have problems peeling the skin of a mango because they cross-react! They'll also have problems with ginko fruit & chest nuts. Luckily, you shouldn't have any problems eating the mango if you can find a friend to peel it for though.
Wishing you beautiful poison ivy free hiking, delicious mangos & spectacular views!