PPE as we know stands for Personal Protective Equipment, and in this instance doesn’t necessarily mean hi-viz jackets, hard hats and steel-toe caps.
Nothing more in fact than a good pair of preferably long gardening gloves. You would wear them of course if you were pulling brambles of nettles, or cutting roses, basically working with anything vegetal having the potential to sting you, cut you, scratch you and so on…
Well I would strongly suggest you wear them all the time, when doing any type of gardening, even if just picking your lettuce, especially – especially – if it is very sunny!
As it turned out, the day after I picked my vegetables, I noticed some red patches on my forearms. Didn’t think much of it as I had been working with nettles, until it started blistering that same evening. And the blisters got worse by the next day, were sore, swollen, more came out… So went to the doctor’s as you do, and I have what’s called strimmer’s disease or phytophotodermatitis (also known as parsnip burn, which is what caused my reaction). Other plants and fruits such as carrots, celery, parsley, wild parsnip, wild carrot, giant hogweed, limes and figs are also known to trigger the reaction.
Mine is quite bad, nothing that a good dose of strong steroid cream will not sort, but still it’s not pleasant!! And very unsightly.
So if you’re going to be in a garden for some time and it’s sunny, forget about your looks and your tan (😳), think about your skin and protect your hands.
In short, wear gloves and maybe even long sleeves.
You learn something new everyday 🙂