“My hope in posting this unfortunate news is to create greater awareness for what WILD PARSNIP is (an invasive species that looks like yellow queen anne’s lace and is found along roadsides/guardrails that has been spreading each year throughout Vermont and other states). As well as the terrible things the OIL from its stem, leaves, and blooms can do to the skin (I’m not saying everyone will have the reaction I did) and to encourage people to spread the news.
I came in contact with wild parsnip on the side of the road even after knowing what it was. I didn’t realize my leg had rubbed against its broken leaves when I slid into the brush, so I went about my day in the hot sun, thus activating the plant oil even more, which causes the skin to be further exposed to the power of the sun.
A few bumps appeared within a couple days but no pain or itch. I continued working out in the sun allowing more sweat and UV rays to hit the skin, making the reaction that came a week later much worse than if I had washed my skin right away and stayed out of the sun. A week later redness increased, and the itch began. Unfortunately, I scratched it a lot in my sleep and woke up with blisters on my leg. Throughout the day they grew exponentially to a point where my leg was swollen, and I couldn’t walk. I rushed to Fanny Allen Urgent Care and have been going each day for inspection and bandaging as it spread to my other leg, arms, and fingers.
The progress is slow, but the blisters and swelling have gone down and I am now getting my wounds treated at UVM burn clinic, as the plant has produced a burn comparable to a 2nd degree chemical burn.
I’m expected to make a full recovery! I am thankful to God for all the care I’ve received and am forever grateful for all the amazing UVM Medical Center nurses and doctors who have treated me with incredible care and kindness and for all who’ve shown me love and support during this. Prayers would continue to be greatly appreciated during the recovery process.
MOST importantly please tell EVERYONE you know (animals can also get burned if they come in contact) read more about its characteristics online and educate others. Please be on the lookout the rest of the summer and get help immediately if you come in contact with its oil! I apologize if the following photos of my burn are too intense, but they are the best way to show people what wild parsnip does. Thank you for reading this long story.”
This story was written by Charlotte Murphy of Vermont. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.
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