If you come across this plant while hiking in the woods, environmental experts say do not touch it!

Sightings of giant hogweed have been reported in seven states...and Massachusetts is one of them.

The plant is part of the carrot family, but it can have the opposite affect than the healthy orange vegetable on your eyes.

This invasive weed can actually cause third-degree skin burns and eye irritation, in some cases even blindness.

Seems the sap that the giant hogweed produces can mix with moisture (like sweat) and sunlight to become very dangerous to those that touch it.

Contact between the skin and sap can occur when you simply brush by the plant and before your hike is over you could have painful blisters on arms, legs or anywhere else the giant hogweed comes in contact with.

These blisters can leave permanent scars after they heal as well.

And Massachusetts is one of a handful of states where it has been reported.

New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Maine, Pennsylvania and North Carolina have also had sightings according to The Weather Channel.

Unfortunately the giant hogweed can look very pretty, making hikers want to touch it.

giant hogweed
Warren Gierling via Facebook

Environmentalists say you should wash any affected areas with soap and water immediately after contact is made and keep your skin out of the sun for up to 48 hours.

Those affected should also contact their physician immediately.

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