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May 1957

Contact Dermatitis from Algerian Ivy: Report of Two Cases

Author Affiliations

Pasadena, Calif.

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;75(5):671-675. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550170039006


Three case reports of dermatitis from English ivy (Hedera helix) have appeared in the literature,1-3 but, to my knowledge, dermatitis from Algerian ivy (Hedera canariensis) has never been reported. Recently, however, two patients were seen with moderately severe dermatitis which was traced to contact with juice from stems and leaves of this plant. After the attack of dermatitis both patients proved sensitive to English ivy as well. Since neither patient had ever before been sensitive to English or Algerian ivy it is suspected that a cross sensitivity to English ivy was produced by the intense reactions to Algerian ivy. However, the evidence for a true cross sensitivity was not conclusive. The purpose of this paper is to remind other physicians that both of these ivies—which are among the most widely cultivated of all plants—are capable of producing a severe contact dermatitis in sensitized individuals.

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