PUBLIC SHOULD AVOID CONTACT WITH IRISH GIANT HOGWEED DUE TO THE SKIN REACTION IS CAUSES
Over the past week there have been a number of cases of Hogweed Burns in Ireland and most of them been children Hogweed burns are very sore and should be treated right away.
Giant Hogweed is a large plant found by rivers in Ireland. It is not that common and is often mixed up with common hogweed but the sap is highly dangerous of giant hogweed so it should be avoided.
The problem with Giant Hogweed is not the poisoning but the reaction it has with your skin. It removes any protection from UV light which means the area will burn terrible when it comes in contact with sunlight.
Although an impressive sight, giant hogweed, part of the carrot family, is an invasive plant.
Growing up to five metres tall, it is mostly found along footpaths and riverbanks though it also grows in places like parks, cemeteries and wasteland.
Its sap contains toxic chemicals which react with light when in contact with human skin, causing blistering within 48 hours.
Effectively it prevents the skin from protecting itself from sunlight, which can lead to very bad sunburn and scarring.
Cover area straight away from sunlight
Go inside and wash area with COLD water and soap
Keep exposed area way from any sunlight for 48 hours
If any blistering starts seek medical help - This may be when you come in contact with the sap but up to 48 hours after
If any sap gets in the eyes then wash straight away, cover eyes with eye pads or sunglasses and seek immediate medical help
If you feel unwell or have a severe reaction you are advised to see a doctor
Your skin can be sensitive for up to several years after coming in contact with the SAP so use full sunblock to protect the areas
Scarring can be present for some time after the burns