• Christopher Roland LovellEmail author
Reference work entry


Many occupations entail exposure to plants and plant products. Plants can induce phototoxic, irritant and allergic reactions. A careful clinical history should distinguish phototoxic from allergic reactions, and patch testing is not appropriate in the former case. In suspected allergic contact dermatitis, patch testing with a standard series can often provide clues to plant allergy; this can be supported by adding a plant series. Unfortunately, reliable screening materials are not commercially available for investigating many plant allergens and it may be necessary to test with the plant itself, ensuring that it is not a known irritant or toxic on contact. If a “new” allergenic plant is identified, it is important to test control subjects to the material to exclude irritancy.


Skin Plants Dermatitis Irritant Phototoxic Urticaria Occupation Allergens Irritants Hypersensitivity Patch testing Anacardiaceae Compositae Apiaceae Herbal medicines Alstroemeria 


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Further Reading

  1. Avalos J, Maibach HI (2000) Dermatologic botany. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
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  4. Lovell CR (1993b) Plants and the skin. Blackwell Scientific, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Mitchell J, Rook A (1979) Botanical dermatology. Plants and plant products injurious to the skin. Greengrass, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  6. Ott A (1991) Haut und Pflanzen. Gustav Fischer Verlag, StuttgartGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dermatology UnitRoyal United HospitalBathUK

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