Shortly after one of us (S. I. S.) started practicing dermatology in Tucson, Ariz., in 1949, he noticed that every few years, in the spring, there was quite a number of cases of dermatitis venenata with linear vesicles on the exposed areas of the extremities, very similar to poison ivy or poison oak dermatitis. Many of these patients gave the history of living, walking, or riding horseback in the foothills or the adjacent desert. It was suspected that this was a plant dermatitis, but since there is no Rhus present in this area at this altitude it was concluded that a different plant was involved. Finally, about 1957, one of the patients with the dermatitis said that she thought it was caused by a plant known as "desert (or false) heliotrope" (identified as Phacelia crenulata). It blooms profusely in March and April, in the desert areas of the West and
BERRY CZ, SHAPIRO SI, DAHLEN RF. Dermatitis Venenata from Phacelia Crenulata. Arch Dermatol. 1962;85(6):737–739. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590060047009
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