Plant allergies in children: Plant dermatitis

I’ll be honest, plant allergies in children is a first for me. I’ve heard of children and adults being allergic to many things, and of course plants in a different form {causing hayfever and so forth} but never a plant causing a rash.

One morning last week my youngest daughter woke up and looked as though she’d gone three rounds with Stone Cold Steve Austin as she slept. She’d went to sleep the night before as pretty as a picture, but woke up the next morning covered in a nasty facial rash and a swollen eyelid.

plant dermatitis

She looks like she’s been through the ringer, huh! Poor kid! I figured she had just knocked her eye in her sleep and the rash was perhaps an eczema flare-up. The weather has been lovely lately and anyone with a child who has eczema knows that nice weather causes flare-ups.

Even though I knew it wasn’t eczema {it just didn’t look the same to me}, I couldn’t think of what else it could be because it didn’t look like anything I’d seen before. I think in the end I put it down to a nasty heat rash due to all of the lovely weather we’d been having, so I applied Aveeno cream and hoped it would help soothe the rash that was quickly spreading to her forehead and the other cheek on her wee face.

plant dermatitis
As the days passed the rash wasn’t going away, if anything it was getting worse {but thankfully not bothering her}, so when we got to day#3 I figured she needed to see a GP as it was clear it wasn’t a heat rash like I originally thought. Within moments of seeing the Doctor, she asked if Annabelle had been in the garden at all, specifically picking any flowers.
The rash flared up the worst on the side of her face that she swipes her hair away from. She’s a little lefty and is forever wiping away her hair with her left hand from the left-hand side of her face. So clearly after picking dandelions and swiping hair away the flower residue has made contact with her wee face and got angry.

Funnily enough, the day before the rash and puffy eye we had cut the garden and Annabelle did pick a bunch of dandelions as she refused to let anyone cut them with the lawnmower. So the mystery rash had been solved, apparently she took an allergic reaction to the pollen {according to the GP} but after looking into it myself {as GPs never really give you the full story do they?} it turns out it’s called Plant dermatitis {causing a rash to spread over the hands and face} and is caused by the residue that some plants and flower release once picked. She was given some Fucidin H, a simple hydrocortisone cream {applied twice a day for 8-10 days} and after a few days the cream is doing wonders!

I managed to find a list of other plants and flowers that can cause plant dermatitis; plants such as lettuce {lettuce!!}, daisies, sunflowers & even daffodils etc. There is quite the list {hundreds and even thousands due to different plant families and species}. So now I know what flowers, or at least an idea of what plants and flowers to prevent her from picking in the future.

Other than Annabelles Dad having hayfever, we’ve no other allergies in the family. But I’m pleased we know about it now and can make sure to keep an eye out for it if it happens again in the future because let’s face it kids love to pick flowers, right? right?

Have you any plant allergies in the family? 


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