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  • Phytophotodermatitis reaction to fig sap

    Anyone ever gotten blisters fro
    fig sap and sunlight exposure? Trying to figure out what might caused my reaction
    Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
    Wishlist- earliest maincrop varieties

  • #2
    happens to some people. had light reaction when i started growing figs. but soon went away. there was a lady who had rather bad reaction, but i heard she had her fill of figs before taking med. i think it's like latex reaction.
    Pete
    USDA Zone 7b
    Piedmont NC

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    • #3
      Yep. I have to wash it off immediately and/or wear gardening gloves and long sleeves or it looks like I've been in an accident. I use a long watering wand now to reach in between trees. I don't have any reaction to latex gloves or bandages or anything like that, just fig sap.
      Zone 10b, Long Beach CA
      Creator of The Original Wasp In Fly Out (WIFO) Bags
      Wish list: Bebera Branca

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      • #4
        The sap does not bother me, but some people are affected badly by it. The leaves can irritate me, I wear a long sleeve shirt when picking a lot of figs in a big tree
        Jennings, Southwest Louisiana, Zone 9a

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        • #5
          My reaction started as a small red spot, slightly sore but not itchy or overly uncomfortable, the next day two small blisters appeared and then merged to form one larger blister- weird!
          Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
          Wishlist- earliest maincrop varieties

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          • #6
            I get really red and itchy. Have you been around anything else that can cause it like giant hogweed or wild parsnip?
            Travis - Zone 5a, Central WI
            Wish list - Verdolino

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            • #7
              It doesn't bother me but I think more people are sensitive to it than immune. Make sure your figs are well-ripened so no sap remains in the skins if you eat the skins.
              7B Southern NJ

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              • #8
                reading about it, reaction can be bad enough you can get second degree burn from touching leaves and root sap.
                Pete
                USDA Zone 7b
                Piedmont NC

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                • #9
                  It can get really bad for some people. It doesn’t normally bother my hands or arms but can on more sensitive spots.

                  Using fig leaves as clothing is definitely fiction. No one would ever try that twice. Hah.
                  Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste

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                  • #10
                    For some people it can literally dissolve the skin a be severe. Others only get a minor itch or redness. Some varieties are more itchy than others. Panache is the worst offender in my field so far. I even get some reaction when picking those. Usually I notice it very little. But for my wife the opposite, complete skin destruction. Pick with latex gloves and long sleeves only and be very careful.
                    Northern CA 9b W L- Big Large Fruited Varieties and promising new finds

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                    • #11
                      had problems with peeling skin on my fingers all year long from last years fig picking. i am being more carefull this year. also some of the fig sap dripped on my arms and made blisters for awhile.
                      Independence Louisiana Zone 8B

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                      • zone5figger
                        zone5figger commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yeah I got a blister on the back of my hand and was like wtf??

                    • #12
                      Yes for me. I don't usually get the blisters, but I get dark scarring burns that take months to heal. Grafting and pruning is pita for me, long sleeves and gloves required.

                      This one is from May. Oh what we do for figs.
                      Click image for larger version

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                      Joe, Central Bucks, PA Zone 6b/7a

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                      • #13
                        Wow! I did not know it could be so bad for some.
                        The sap never really bothered me. I try to be careful but not really.
                        Almaguin Highlands, Canada. Zone 4a/3b. WL: Ronde de Bordeaux, Florea, Hollier, Dauphine, Gisotta nero, Verdolino, Malta Black, Violet Sepor .Any early finishers would help, just starting out, not picky. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication~Da Vinci

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                        • #14
                          I never got bothered before, but I must have gotten a drop on the back of my hand which was then exposed to the sun and got the blister reaction
                          Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
                          Wishlist- earliest maincrop varieties

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                          • #15
                            Contact can cloud my judgement and cause slurred speech but that’s usually after fermentation. Click image for larger version

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                            Galveston County, Texas

                            Wish list: Original Magnolia, LSU Tiger, Alma, Madeira Island Black

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                            • #16
                              I was just searching because my dog is so itchy and I was trying to figure out why. I then noticed that when picking my figs my arms get itchy. I am putting up temp fencing around the 3 trees to keep the dogs out and I will wear long sleeves and gloves when picking the figs. My trees are years old and this is the first year I have noticed it bothering my dogs. I always wash my arms when I am done as it does make me itchy. The dogs do a great job keeping the birds and wildlife away from the trees, they are just going to have to do it from a distance.

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                              • #17
                                Wow, I had no idea. I've been blissfully ignorant, getting the sap on me without care. I guess I'm not sensitive.
                                Brendan, Massachusetts Zone 6A
                                My figs: Hardy Chicago, Florea, RdB, Improved Celeste, Takoma Violet, Nordland, Campaniere, Desert King

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                                • #18
                                  Yes I get it often. I even where leather gloves that go up to my elbows.

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