What is immunologic contact urticaria in botanical dermatology?

Updated: Jun 10, 2021
  • Author: Glen H Crawford, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Immunologic contact urticaria typically affects individuals who have a long history of handling food and/or atopy.

Celery (Apium graveolens) is the most common plant cause of generalized urticarial or anaphylactoid reactions. Within 30 minutes of contact with certain plants, pruritus, erythema, vesicles, and urticarial swelling may develop. Cooking, processing, deep-freezing, or crushing of fruits and vegetables generally reduces their allergenicity.

Protein contact dermatitis represents a chronic dermatitis in which patch testing results are typically negative; however, prick tests with large protein allergens usually causes positive results.

The most sensitive tests for immunologic contact dermatitis are the prick test and the scratch chamber test. Prevention is the key method of controlling this condition; however, the use of antihistamines can be helpful.

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