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October 1990

Severe Phototoxic Burn Following Celery Ingestion

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Lund University, Malmö (Sweden) General Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(10):1334-1336. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670340086014

• A 65-year-old woman developed a severe, generalized phototoxic reaction following a visit to a suntan parlor. History taking revealed that she had consumed a large quantity of celery root (Apium graveolens) 1 hour earlier. With the use of thin-layer chromatography, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen) and 5-methoxypsoralen were identified in the extract from a similar celery root. The biologic activity of this extract, as evaluated with the semiquantitative Candida albicans inhibition technique, indicated a total psoralen dose of approximately 45 mg. Substantial amounts of psoralen may be absorbed from vegetables, such as celery, and under unusual circumstances, this may constitute a health hazard.

(Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:1334-1336)

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