All I can say is ouch!
Just thought I would pass this one on as I for one had never heard about this.
A few days ago I cut a fig tree down in my garden. I was a lovely sunny day.
Twenty four hours later I started to get a bit of a rash on my hands fore arms and back of neck. I had no idea what this was from, but going by where it was on my body, and the fact there was a watch strap mark I guessed it was sun related.
Forty eight hours after cutting the tree down the rash was getting a lot worse and was starting to badly blister.
I did a bit of internet research and found a thing called Phytophotodermatitis. The sap from some normally harmless plants, in this case fig, when in conjunction with direct sunlight (UV) cause blistering on the skin. Apparently it can last for around 4-6 weeks!
Today it's got really bad and was really painful, so I went to A&E. They didn't have a clue and had never heard of such a thing. They popped all the big blisters, dressed them and referred me to the burns unit where I have to go tomorrow morning.
So if you ever have to prune or cut down a fig tree wear gloves and long sleeves.
All I can say is ouch!
Thanks for that - can I ask if this was a fruiting fig or an ornamental one? I am planting a couple of (fruiting) figs next week!
Thanks for the heads up and hope your better soon, that looks sore.
Giant Hogweed is the same, get that sap on you + sunlight = mini blisters
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+1 I've had this from giant hogweed.
We had edible fig trees on my parent's farm. The sap used to irritate skin, never got blisters, but then skin was like leather from the australian sun anyway.
The sap from figs is an irritant. Dress appropriately.....
I didn't know this, and my fig tree is growing rapidly. I'm going to struggle to get it into the greenhouse in a few weeks and thought I might gently prune it.
I'll be very, very careful.
Thank you for the information, it's much appreciated, and I hope everyone heals well.
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Figs contain fumocoumarins that can cause this reaction, it doesn't happen to everyone but it happens. Most Umbelliferae are capable of causing phytophotodermatitis but hogweed is the best known and most damaging in the UK. The African "blister bush" is the worst supposedly. Orange, lemon and bergamot plants supposedly also cause it