Garden Plants That Can Cause Skin Irritation? Find It Here!

Written By James
Updated May 24, 2021 by James

Garden Plants That Can Cause Skin Irritation? Find It Here!

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the world, but sometimes it can be problematic, especially if you have allergies.

When you are in the garden, taking care of your plants, whether it is pulling weeds, digging in the dirt or pruning, you might get allergic reactions.

As any seasoned gardener knows, plants can be great for your lawn and garden, but they also come with their own list of dangers. While most garden plants are safe, some can cause skin irritation if you come into contact with them.

As gardeners, we love to get our hands dirty. We have to deal with dirt, bugs and other pests, and sometimes we even have to take a bite of the "apple." But a garden can have a lot of elements that can cause skin irritation.

The leaf of a garden plant can cause skin irritation, including parts of the plant, such as peels, stems, and seeds, that are often tossed out.

In fact, some garden plants that can cause skin irritation are more common than you might think.

Common skin irritants that are found in yards

The skin is the largest organ in the body and protects the body's soft inner tissues from injury, germs, and other dangers. Skin is also the body's largest organ for excreting toxins.

The skin is very efficient at removing things we do not want or need in our bodies. Skin is a barrier. There are a lot of different irritants that can be found in our yards.

Anyone interested in gardening has probably always known to avoid certain flowers and plants when you have sensitive skin. However, even if you don’t have sensitive skin there are still a number of plants and flowers that should be avoided when gardening.

After all, it is a place that we have been exposed to since we were children. If we did not develop an allergy to something when we were young, we can develop it as a teen or an adult.

It might even be a new allergy that we did not have before. Even if you do not have allergies, you will be surprised at how many irritants our yards contain.

We all know that poison ivy, poison oak, and stinging nettle are dangerous plants as they can cause rashes, swelling, and even death, if ingested.

However, other common plants found in yards are also skin irritants. For example, both the dandelion and clover contain chemicals that can cause a rash on your skin. 

How to test plants that may cause skin irritation

Skin irritation can be caused by plants in several ways. Touching the plant, or even eating the plant, can cause irritation. There are other ways that plants can cause skin irritation.

For example, if you use a product made from a plant, and that product causes irritation to your skin, it's the plant that caused the irritation.

Another example is if you are allergic to a plant. This causes a reaction in the skin that looks like skin irritation. As with any allergy, there may be other symptoms as well.

Plants that may cause irritation when touched or rubbed against the skin include:

  • Achillea millefolium, also known as Yarrow, is a perennial herb that can cause contact dermatitis.
  • Centaurea cyanus, also known as Knapweed, is a perennial herb with flowers that can cause skin irritation.
  • Scabiosa columbaria, is a herbaceous plant with flowers that can cause skin irritation.

Symptoms of the skin irritation

The skin irritation can be caused by various factors. It can be dryness, but also a skin rash, for example. People with sensitive skin are more prone to skin irritation and should take precautions.

Skin irritation is not necessarily a sign that the skin is diseased, but it can be an indicator for an illness. If you are not sure, it is always best to consult a doctor.

The skin irritation is also one of the most common symptoms of a contagious disease, an allergy or a rash. Other symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle ache and the feeling of exhaustion.

If you have ever developed a rash from working in the garden, you know how uncomfortable that can be. The area affected becomes red and hot to the touch, and can itch like crazy.

By understanding the basic causes of skin irritation from gardening, and by taking a few precautions, you can reduce the likelihood of developing a rash, and know how to treat it if it does occur.

How to avoid skin irritation

If you are like me, you are often working in the garden bare-handed. While you may not be as rough as a farmer, or even a weekend gardener, you still may notice a rash or two on your hands.

Why do these occur? Contact dermatitis is caused by an allergic reaction to something that comes in contact with the skin.

The offending irritant can be an herbicide, pesticides, even the rubber on your garden gloves. The result is that the skin is inflamed and itchy.

The first rule of thumb when you are gardening in the sun is don't forget the sunscreen, and the second rule of thumb is to avoid touching your face or the area around your mouth. Why?

The skin on your face is very sensitive, and it is prone to allergies and skin irritations. The last thing you want is a painful rash on your face or an itchy dry one on your nose.

To avoid this, garden with sunscreen on, and never touch your face or lips while gardening.

Plants that are safe for sensitive skin 

One of the biggest causes of irritation and a rash is the plants we bring into our home.

Indoor plants can be a great way to liven up the office or home, but if you have allergies or sensitive skin, some plants can be too much.

Some plants can be a little too harsh for people with sensitive skin. So it is usually a good idea to stay away from plants that have red, pink or purple flowers.

Instead, look for white flowers, which are much safer for sensitive skin. Some plants that you might consider for your garden are gardenias, hibiscus, and some types of roses.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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