for Children and Adults
Sherry Guralnick Cohen
Board Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner

© 2001-2011 Dermatlas

Poinsettia Contact Dermatitis

I recently had a patient who developed a wide spead symmetric itchy rash with red papules and plaques.  The rash started at Christmas and lasted several months untill we discovered she had been tending to eight poinsettias plants which she bought for the holiday.  Once she got rid of these plants, no new lesions appeared and the rash healed over a couple of weeks.

Causes

Poinsettia (plant) can cause an allergic hypersensitivity skin reaction.   The poinsettia is in the same plant family as natural rubber latex, which is obtained from the Brazilian rubber tree. A paper was presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in New Orleans by Dr. Peter M Ranta, which showed two proteins found in poinsettias that correspond to proteins found in natural latex. 

 

Other household plants and vegetables can cause a similar contact dermatitis.   Some of these include the mango peel, unroasted shells of cashew nuts, chrysanthemums, hyacinth and the daffodil. 

References

  1. Poinsettia Flower