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Phytophotodermatitis in Rijeka Region, Croatia

Croatian Anthropological Society; [email protected]
Publication Date
  • Photodermatitis
  • Psoralens
  • Apiaceae
  • Moraceae
  • Agricultural Science


Contact with plants can cause phototoxic or rarely photoallergic reactions. Phototoxic dermatitis (photophytodermatitis) occurs after contact or ingestion of plants containing furocumarins i.e. psoralens and followed by sun exposure. Skin lesions develop usually after 24–48 hours with erythema, bulla formation, itch or pain, followed by a long lasting hyperpigmentation. Furocumarins can be linear i.e. psoralens (5-MOP, 8-MOP), or angular like angelicin and pimpinellin. Their binding to DNA causes cellular damage. This can happen in florists, gardeners, farmers, horticulturists, food handlers, and botanists. The plants causing phototoxic reaction can vary with the local flora but are commonly a member of the family apiaceae (formerly umbelliferae), family rutaceae, leguminosae and moraceae. The authors give special consideration to the phytophotodermatitis that appeared in their region in spring and summer during a three year period.

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