Common weed can cause painful rash

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Spread of Wild Parsnips Causing Painful Rashes and Blisters

A seemingly harmless plant can potentially ruin your summer. It's called wild parsnip, and it comes up in the warmer weather.

Wild parsnip grows in nearly all 50 states and resembles Queen Anne's lace, also known as wild carrot.

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The weed became familiar throughout the country when the KCCI 8 Iowa News Facebook page posted this video, now with over five million views:

Wild parsnip is yellow and resembles a wildflower. When humans come in contact with it, burning and rashes can occur.

The woman in the video is Iowa resident Wendy Prusha, who contracted the rash after trying to take wild parsnip out of her garden.

"It's a constant burning. It just bubbled up overnight," she told KCCI 8. "The oils sit on your skin, it's a constant burning and it eats away your skin."

Not only is wild parsnip harmful to humans, but it can also wipe out entire sections of native plants.

See the wild parsnip:

Wild parsnip
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Wild parsnip
Wild Parsnip. (Getty)
Wild Parsnip. (Getty)
Wild Parsnip. (Getty)
Wild Parsnip. (Getty)
Wild Parsnip. (Getty)

Should you come in contact with wild parsnip, the Center for Disease Control recommends taking these steps:

Immediately rinse skin with rubbing alcohol, poison plant wash, or degreasing soap (such as dishwashing soap) or detergent, and lots of water.

Rinse frequently so that wash solutions do not dry on the skin and further spread the urushiol. Scrub under nails with a brush.

Apply wet compresses, calamine lotion, or hydrocortisone cream to the skin to reduce itching and blistering.

Oatmeal baths may relieve itching.

An antihistamine may help relieve itching. (NOTE: Drowsiness may occur.)

In severe cases or if the rash is on the face or genitals, seek professional medical attention. Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room if you have a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or difficulty breathing, or have had a severe reaction in the past.

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