• Daniel A. Nguyen
  • Muneeza K. Muhammad
  • Grace L. LeeEmail author


Phytophotodermatitis describes the phenomenon of human skin eruptions produced by photosensitizing plants and their extracts upon exposure to sunlight. The Greek origin of the word phyto means plant, photo means light, and dermatitis denotes inflammation of the skin. The various plants implicated are diverse and commonly include the Apiaceae, Rutaceae, Moraceae, and other plant families with active photosensitizing ingredients, mainly furocoumarins. When the furocoumarins are exposed to ultraviolet A (UVA) light, skin reactions of erythema, edema, and bullae with subsequent hyperpigmentation can develop. Phytophotodermatitis may be a difficult clinical diagnosis if proper history is not obtained. Treatment based on presentation may include debridement, dressing changes, analgesics, and steroids. Importance must be placed on avoidance of further plant toxin and UVA exposure.


Furocoumarin Phytophotodermatitis Photodermatitis Phytodermatitis Phototoxic 



Psoralen and Ultraviolet A Radiation


Reactive Oxygen Species


Ultraviolet A Radiation


Declaration of Interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Informed Consent

Obtained written consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel A. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Muneeza K. Muhammad
    • 2
  • Grace L. Lee
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Medical City WeatherfordWeatherfordUSA
  2. 2.Baylor College of Medicine Department of DermatologyHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Texas Children’s Hospital Pediatric DermatologyHoustonUSA

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