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Thread: Fig Tree Sap + Direct Sunlight + Skin = Burns and blisters.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Fig Tree Sap + Direct Sunlight + Skin = Burns and blisters.

    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.

    Yours painfully,

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  2. #2


    All I can say is ouch!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    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!
    Quote Originally Posted by Macaroon
    There are too many people with a mouth full of much obliged and a hand full of gimme who bang on about rights but have no clue as to responsibilities

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Nr Chester


    Thanks for the heads up and hope your better soon, that looks sore.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Oban, Scotland


    Giant Hogweed is the same, get that sap on you + sunlight = mini blisters
    Dream as if you'll live forever! Live as if you'll die tomorrow!
    Fight for those you have lost and for those you don`t want to loose!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    North Yorkshire, UK


    +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.

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