Phytodermatitis Slides 31 through 35

Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Dermatology. All rights reserved. Please note that the slides are very large JPEG files that will take up to 6.5 minutes to view or download using a 28.8 kbps modem.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis requires previous sensitization to low molecular weight compounds in a plant. Not everyone develops an allergic reaction to these compounds. The most common plant causing this reaction is poison oak or ivy. The large family of plants, Compositae, contain chemicals called sesquiterpene lactones, which are sensitizers and irritants. Most of these rashes are chronic, eczematous rashes as compared to the severe blisters that develop from contact with the poison oak or ivy plants. Allergic contact dermatitis is the least common type of plant reaction except for problems with poison oak or ivy.

Slide 31

The extract of the coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is used as an herbal medication. It is thought to stimulate the immune system.

Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

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Slide 32

Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus).

Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus).

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Slide 33

Black‑eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).

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Slide 34

Although not in the Compositae family, the magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) plant also has allergenic sesquiterpene lactones. The flower of this tree has a tulip shape.

Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora).
This image only, Slide 34, reprinted with permission from J.S. Peterson at USDA-NRCS Plants Database (plants.usda.gov).

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Slide 35

The fragrant, stiff laurel leaf is used in cooking. Laurel (Laurus nobilis) also contains sesquiterpene lactone allergens.

Laurel (Laurus nobilis).

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