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Can Grass Cut You? The Facts, Culprits and What you can do

Grass can come into contact with the skin during everyday activities, and although, it is not that harmful to the human skin it can cause tiny abrasions and small cuts. 

Grass can cause cuts when they come into contact with skin. Grass blades possess tiny blades called trichomes which are used as a defense mechanism against pests. Larger grass will have larger, stronger blades (trichomes) which can cause larger cuts. Cuts can vary in size depending on the grass variety and contact duration.

Keep reading further to find out in-betweens of grass cuts from abrasions to itchy skin, how can you treat them, and what you can do to get rid of the types of grass that cause the nuisance.

Can Grass Cause Cuts?

Can Grass cut you?

Yes, grass can cut you. The grass has saw-like blades on its leaves. So whenever the human skin comes in contact with these sharp leave blades, it experiences minor cuts. Moreover, these grass blades have small hair-like structures that emit out a liquid that bothers the skin. This process is called Grass Itching.

Grass blades are sharp and they have a lot of small hair on their surface, which are called “Trichomes“, the main reason for grass cuts.

But these trichomes are not easy to see with naked eyes, you would have to use a magnifying glass.

Smaller blades of grass will cause micro-cuts or abrasions and most time it may go unnoticed because it is soo small it does not penetrate into the dermis of the skin to irritate the pain receptors.

In some cases, you will not know you have a cut or abrasion until the area is placed underwater or when you shower.

This is because your nerves withhold a solution that has an electrical charge, when water enters a damaged nerve and nerve membrane, it changes the electrical balance in the nerve causing pain. stackexchange.com

Larger blades of leaves can cause more noticeable cuts because as your skin slides across the blades there are more trichomes that come into contact with the same area causing a deeper cut which irritates the pain receptors and ruptures topical blood vessels.

For this reason, the small cut or abrasions will look red and in some cases may even bleed.

Does Grass Have Micro Blades?

Yes, grass has micro blades. These are microscopic blades that are found on the grass leaves. They are quite small and they are very sharp.

These blades can be seen by using a microscope. However, if you look at the grass closely you will notice that there are many tiny little hairs around the grass blade.

Why Do Grass Have Trichomes?

Because of the presence of these trichomes, grasses are able to defend themselves against insect attacks.

This method is actually beneficial for the grass, as it does create problems for the insects and small herbivores to eat them with these bristles present. 

Insects are known to feed on plants. When an insect bites into a plant, the plant releases chemicals that repel the insect. 

However, the plant also needs to protect itself from being eaten by insects. To achieve this, the plant creates tiny hairs called “trichomes”.

If the insect tries to bite through the leaf, the trichome will get stuck inside the mouth of the insect and prevent it from biting through the leaf.

The grass and the blades can be really hard and rigid sometimes. That is why whenever we touch the grass we experience minor grass cuts.

So, the trichomes are like tiny spikes that stick out of the grass blade. They are usually white-colored but they can vary in color depending on the species of grass.

Some other kinds of grasses have other methods that make them itchy when touched.

Why does Grass Cause Itchy Skin?

The itchy sensation we feel after we come into contact with grass is the tiny cuts caused by the trichomes. 

The cuts are so small they often go unnoticed until, as explained above, water comes in contact with the cut.

Another reason you may feel itchiness caused by grass is because of sweat. Many times we sweat and we may not even know it until we feel it. In this case, it comes as an itchy sensation.

When you sweat the saltiness or ions contained in the sweat quickly react with the tiny openings causing an itchy sensation.

The itchy sensation is mainly due to a change in the ionic concentrations with the interaction between the tiny cuts and sweat.

Grass Known for Sharp Blades:

Grass that have sharp blades can also be called Sword-grass. As you have read above that grass has many small hair-like bristles which keep them safe from being eaten. 

Some are small, and some are larger and sharper. Which can cause big grass cuts.

Gahnia grandis

These grasses are large and sharp-edged. They can be 1 to 3 meters tall in size. Their leaves are sharp, long, leveled, and brown in color. Quite harmful for human skin.

Imperata cylindrica

Also known as Cogon grass. This grass is said to be one of the most invading species of grass, making it one of the worst. 

It is approximately 3 meters tall. Its leaves are about 20 mm in width at the bottom and very sharp from the top.

Poa ensiformis

They are 0.5 to 1.2 meters in height and their leaves are usually darker in color, and 0.5 cm in width, being very sharp from the top.

These were some examples of grasses with sharp blades that can cause severe grass cuts, and are sometimes very harmful to the human skin. That’s why these species must be avoided.

Does Grass Cause Micro Cuts, Large Cuts, or Scrapes?

Grass cuts are of several types. Micro cuts, scrapes, and sometimes larger cuts. The grass usually causes tiny cuts on your skin. 

When your skin comes in contact with the sharp bristles of the grass, they penetrate your skin causing micro-cuts.

Then, when you sweat, it reacts with the cuts and starts grass itching. That is because your sweat is salty. Grass can also cause scrapes. 

The grass blades are quite thin in nature. They can only cause very small scrapes on your skin. But the problem is when your salty sweat reacts with these scrapes. The grass itching starts.

Larger grass cuts are possible, but not that common. Large cuts are aroused and quite itchy. They are usually red or meat-colored and can cause severe pain and smell from time to time.

The main reason for their occurrence is the skin’s exposure to allergic surroundings like itchy grass or something.

Sometimes, the itching doesn’t come from the grass, but from tiny insects lurking there. These small beasts can be a real nuisance. Or you can feel grass itching if you are allergic to the grass or plants.

How to Treat a Grass Cut?

Before treating, let’s talk about its symptoms first. It is no rocket science to point out grass cuts. If you see tiny red rashes on the area of skin that came in contact with the grass. 

Your skin may be suffered a grass cut. People that are allergic to grass might also get Hives, on the grass-touched area of your skin.

Sometimes, these hives bring some other allergies with them like inflammation, watery eyes, constant sneezing, and coughing. Immediately call for medical help if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Now comes the treating part. The simpler and easier method is to clean the grass cut by taking a bath with warm water. This will relax the skin and reduce the risk of infection. 

Or, you could use an ice pack or something to put it on the affected skin area to calm down the itching and sometimes pain.

Take medications prescribed by your doctor to reduce the swelling and grass itching.

You can also use lucrative liquids like lotions to take the itching but is suitable for adults. Before using this method on children, consider asking their respective doctors first. 

If you keep the affected skin dry, the itching may increase. You should tie a wet cloth around the skin to keep its moisture intact.

How to Protect Yourself from Sharp Grass in the Garden?

This will be easy. Just wear clothes in which your arms, especially are properly covered. The same goes for your legs. 

After that, remember to wash your hands instantly after doing the grass work. Or better, take a shower. Use lotions to keep your skin from drying.

Take your medications before going in your garden, if you have a grass allergy. If the problem still persists, consult your doctor. The same goes for your kid(s).

Another more permanent solution is to get rid of the grass by cutting or spraying and allowing smaller grass species to dominate the area.

How to Get Rid of Razor or Sword Grass from the Garden?

You should be careful while cutting the grass in your garden. Because if you cut a lot of it at the same time, this might negatively affect the grass growth, and if you cut it less than necessary, then you know the drill, right?

The ideal amount of grass to be cut is one-third. Use your lawnmower wisely here, and only cut the top sharp-edged leaves of grass and not more than that.

Applying Weedicide:

  1. Spray the infected lawn or garden area with ester that is specifically designed to kill devil grass. The ester should be available at garden or home supply shops.
  2. Spot treat areas between ester treatments with a herbicide.
  3. Douse the entire area with glyphosates, such as Roundup or Easy Gone Weed.
  4. Continue upkeep.

Cutting the Grass

The razor or sword grass can be cut straight to the ground and in some cases, you can even expose the dirt to ensure it’s removed.

Regular cutting will ensure it does not regrow or if it does, the blades don’t get too long.

Keeping the grassy area short will promote the growth of much smaller grass varieties.

The Takeaway

The grass cut is a serious issue and should not be taken for granted. Only an adequate amount of grass should be left in your garden while cutting to keep the beauty intact. 

Otherwise, that grass will cause problems.

Furthermore, use the right kind of grass species to plants in your garden and avoid the grass that has sharp blades. 

These sharp grasses aren’t much beautiful but are harmful to the core. Avoid planting these grasses and keep yourself and your family safe. Thank you.

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