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Severe phytophotodermatitis from fig sap: a little known phenomenon
  1. Natalie Redgrave and
  2. Joshua Solomon
  1. Royal Free Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Natalie Redgrave; natalie.redgrave{at}


A 46-year-old arborist with no medical history presented to the emergency department with a confluent blistering, erythematous, non-pruritic, painful rash covering both arms circumferentially and the back of his neck. He sought medical advice as his arms were becoming more painful and swollen with blister formation, despite aloe vera cream and wet towel wraps. He recalled that 2 days previously he had been pruning a fig tree on a hot sunny day. He was wearing a t-shirt and his forearms had been exposed to a large quantity of fig sap, while he was working under direct sunlight. On examination, there were several blisters with no superimposed infection. He was diagnosed with phytophotodermatitis and referred to a regional burns unit. He recovered well with simple dressings and a course of antibiotics. At present, he has made a good recovery with no long-term sequelae such as skin hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.

  • emergency medicine
  • plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • dermatology
  • exposures

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  • Contributors Both authors were involved in the care of the patient, the consent process, design and drafting of the report and have both approved the final version. NR and JS contributed equally to this paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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