Pain after gardening: hogweed can cause burns and rashes

Painful experience with hogweed: man wanted to cut his leg

In Britain, a man thought of cutting his leg off due to extreme pain. The 32-year-old had previously contracted blisters while gardening due to contact with hogweed, which ignited. Now he wants to warn the public about the dangerous plant.

Bubbles ignited

Nathan Davies' suffering began after gardening in Wales. As the British newspaper "Daily Mail" reports, the 32-year-old man contracted a few blisters on his leg that resulted from contact with hogweed. The father's blisters had inflamed badly and he was in so much pain that he thought of "cutting his leg off his knee," the real estate agent told the newspaper. Now the Brit wants to warn the public about the dangers posed by the plant.

Injuries while gardening

According to the Daily Mail report, the man's ordeal began on May 20 when he was gardening with his father in warm temperatures.

Dressed in shorts, the two cut the hedges and plants, "so I had a few cuts and scratches - but I didn't think of anything".

But two days later, blisters formed on his leg. "They looked like burns - like the kind of burns you get from a stove. But then they started to grow up really big, ”recalls the 32-year-old.

He initially tried not to show the blisters at home and not to show his suffering. But a few days later, he collapsed in pain and was hospitalized.

Man needed emergency surgery

There a nurse wanted to send him back home with antibiotics. However, when a doctor glanced at the leg, it was clear that he needed emergency surgery. According to his information, he was already on the operating table 20 minutes later.

As the report says, the blisters were badly infected. The doctors had to open the leg from the kneecap to the ankle - the wound remained open and bandaged because his skin was "eaten up" by the infection.

After the first operation, another was needed the following day.

"The pain was so bad that I couldn't even stand - I still can't put pressure or weight on my leg," said Davies.

Patient could have lost his leg

"Part of me just wants to cut my leg off my knee," said the 32-year-old. "I've never had such a pain in my life."

According to the information, a third operation will follow to wash out the wound. A skin graft may also be necessary.

The patient remains dependent on strong pain relievers such as morphine and codeine for a long time.

He pointed out that he was even lucky: "The doctors told me that if the infection had spread to my calf, I would have lost my muscles and my whole leg would have been gone," said Davies.

He has now shared his painful experience, hoping to warn others about the possible dangers of hogweed and to get wounds treated in good time.

Common hogweed injuries

According to the newspaper report, Davies suffered injuries from common hogweed. However, the giant hogweed (also called Hercules perennial) is considered to be particularly dangerous. Neither in the UK nor in this country is it a native plant species.

According to the Saarland Chamber of Agriculture, it was introduced from the Caucasus as an ornamental plant in the 19th century. Because of its enormous seed production of 10,000 to 50,000 pieces per plant, the giant hogweed was able to multiply significantly in Germany.

Furthermore, its high adaptability and the buoyancy of the seeds have promoted the massive spread. The weeds can be found mainly on non-cultivated moist soils and on cycling and hiking trails.

Dangerous giant hogweed

The giant hogweed causes burns and rashes, especially when the sun is shining.

Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml said in an older message: “The plant juice contains contact poisons that override the natural UV protection of the skin. They can cause skin burns when combined with sunlight. Therefore, the giant hogweed should not be touched. "

Since children in particular would like to play with the plant, which is up to four meters high, the minister emphasized: “Parents should therefore point out the painful consequences. Under certain circumstances, skin reactions can only be triggered days later by sunlight. ”

And further: "In sensitive people and allergy sufferers, touching the plant can also cause fever, shortness of breath or circulatory shock."

But even with non-allergy sufferers, symptoms such as an itchy rash with redness and blistering can develop after contact with the plant.

The politician, who is a trained doctor, explained what to do if you touched the weeds:

"After contact with the giant hogweed, a shady place should be sought. Afterwards it is advisable to wash off the affected skin quickly with soap and water - or even better with alcohol. If skin reactions nevertheless occur, it is advisable to see a doctor. ”(Ad)

Author and source information

Video: Young Giant Hogweed Identification, Heracleum mantegazzianum (August 2020).