Slide show: Poison ivy and other summer skin irritants
Photo of a reaction to wild parsnip
Previous Next 3 of 9 Wild parsnip

Wild parsnip grows in sunny areas, often along highways and in prairies. The plant bears large clusters of yellow flowers on a thick stem. Touching sap from the wild parsnip plant — combined with exposure to sunlight — can cause a burn-like skin reaction. Within a day after exposure, the skin turns red and might develop painful blisters. While mild reactions might go unnoticed, a severe reaction can cause skin discoloration for months or years.

Soothe the affected area with a cool, wet cloth or moisturizer. Talk to your doctor if the reaction is painful or the blisters are severe or last longer than a couple of weeks.

June 25, 2020