Mugwort Fields

Several blogs ago I talked about poison ivy. I had a systemic reaction, which means I was exposed to it in one small area on my arm, but got hives and blisters over most of my body for more than a month.

So, this past weekend, I was out in the woods again, and I was extremely careful to be aware of poison ivy or poison sumac, etc. … I was assured by the people who lived there that there was no poison ivy where I was walking, and the grass was warm and inviting, so I took off my sandals and walked through the grass and a field of mugwort, which smells absolutely wonderful.

Over the next few days I experienced difficulty breathing and a worsening, itchy skin rash that quickly spread from my ankles where I walked through the field. It was very similar feeling to the poison ivy, so I thought I’d been exposed again. This time no fooling around — I’m going on vacation tomorrow and don’t want to deal with intense itching again, so I went to my doctor who gave me steroids to calm it down. He confirmed it was probably not poison ivy, but that almost any plant can cause an allergic reaction.

After a little research I found that some people are highly allergic to mugwort, and it’s related to the same allergic reaction people have to peaches and ragweed. Well, that makes sense, since I’m highly allergic to both. As a kid I had to get my school pictures taken again because I ate a peach right before the photo shoot, and my face had giant clowny hives all over it, which at the time the polite photographer made no mention of. It is nice to know what it is, so now I can cease worrying about it and try to ignore it as the steroids start to work, and maybe I can avoid the same thing happening again.

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