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Phytophotodermatitis is a colored, bumpy rash on your skin. It happens when you touch certain plants or fruits and then expose that skin to the sun. The rash may be an odd shape, can look like a bruise, or develop blisters. Plants that may cause phytophotodermatitis include parsley, dill, carrot, and grass. You also may have a reaction from the juice of citrus fruit, such as limes or oranges.



  • Wash the area: Use mild soap and water, or soak in a cool oatmeal bath to soothe your skin.
  • Apply a cool compress: Wet a washcloth with cool water and put it on your rash. Do this several times a day. This will help decrease itching, pain, and swelling.
  • Use topical creams: Put anti-itch creams directly on the area. These are available without a doctor's order. Do not use them on broken skin.
  • Wear sunscreen: Your skin may be sensitive to the sun after you get phytophotodermatitis. Always wear sunscreen when you are outside.


  • Steroids: This medicine is used to decrease redness, pain, and swelling. It may be given as a pill or cream.
  • Antihistamines: This medicine may be given to help decrease itching.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or dermatologist in 2 to 3 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your healthcare provider or dermatologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • The rash area becomes more swollen.
  • You get open sores in the rash area.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your face, mouth, or throat is swollen.
  • You have trouble breathing or swallowing.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Phytophotodermatitis (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

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