Hogweed: Saw a story on KING 5 and thought the same thing. HOGWEED. No, it’s not something sold at any of our legal cannabis stores. It’s actually a weed, and an invasive one that can burn. Seriously. In fact KING 5 says ‘Hogweed is a noxious plant that can cause severe skin burns” and recently a giant one was just recently removed a giant one in West Seattle. So, how do you spot it?
It’s the real deal, and the burns are aweful. Take note of the following:
- If you come into contact with the plant, doctors advise washing with soap, staying out of the sunlight and going to A&E immediately
- Mike Duddy, a leading expert on the plant, says in the last five years it has spread to pathways, motorway embankments and roadsides
- Says anyone who spots the plant should report it to the Environment Agency through its Plant Tracker app and notify off their local authority
If you inadvertently brush up against any part of giant hogweed, you might notice the skin reaction within 15 minutes. Dark, painful blisters will form within two days, and the purplish or brown scars and sensitivity to sunlight can last for years.
What should you do if you are exposed to giant hogweed sap?
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and COLD water as soon as possible
- Keep exposed area away from sunlight for 48 hours
- If a reaction occurs, topical steroids applied early can reduce the severity of the reaction and ease discomfort
- If sap goes in eyes, rinse them with water and wear sunglasses
- If a reaction has occurred, the area of skin may be sensitive to sunlight for a few years and you may want to apply sun block or keep the affected area covered from the sun when possible
- See a physician if you have a reaction or any questions