What are the categories of botanical dermatology?

Updated: Aug 23, 2019
  • Author: Glen H Crawford, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Botanicals are widely used for medicinal purposes but can also cause dermatitis. [1, 2] Plant-induced contact dermatitis is divided into five major categories. These include allergic sensitization, mechanical irritation, chemical irritation, contact urticaria (immunologic or toxin mediated), and photosensitization. Plant products cause a variety of adverse cutaneous effects, and they are responsible for most cases of allergic contact dermatitis. In the United States, most cases of allergic contact dermatitis are due to Toxicodendron plants.

This article provides a brief introduction to botanical dermatology and highlights the small minority of plants that cause skin reactions. This discussion of clinical manifestations and treatment options is a supplement to the material presented in Allergic Contact Dermatitis.


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