An unusual cause of burn injury: Fig leaf decoction used as a remedy for a dermatitis of unknown etiology

Ozdamar E., ÖZBEK S. S., Akin S.

JOURNAL OF BURN CARE & REHABILITATION, vol.24, no.4, pp.229-233, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Medicinal plant extracts are commonly used worldwide. Their use relies mostly on historical and anecdotal evidence and might be so hazardous. Phytophotodermatitis is a well-known entity that is caused by the sequential exposure to certain species of plants containing furo-coumarins and then to sunlight. In this article, superficial burn lesions caused by fig leaf decoction that was applied to a patient's both upper extremity as a remedy for a dermatitis of unknown etiology is reported. Direct sun exposure is an essential component of phytophotodermatitis. All reported cases to date have in common that patients are exposed to direct sunlight or to artificial UVA lights (like solarium) of varying durations. In our case neither direct sun exposure, other than inevitable indoor UVA influence, nor blister formation was present. The etiologic factors, symptoms, signs, course, and treatment alternatives for phytophotodermatitis are also reviewed briefly.