Hogweed plant
Jan 16 2018

Sunlight and plant sap – please be careful

During spring & early summer the risk of inflammatory dermal reactions following exposure to plant sap and sunlight phytophotodermatitis (PPD) returns to our woods.

This is a very painful condition causing a rash and / or blistering.

This type of reaction is usually associated with Giant Hogweed; however a number of common plant species can cause this reaction such as Queen Ann’s Lace or Creeping Buttercup.

For PPD to occur there must be the presence of both the plant sap and sunlight, exclusion of either will prevent this injury.

For Woodland Trust Staff and Volunteers:

  • Be aware of the types of plants growing in your woodland – if in doubt, DON’T TOUCH!
  • Avoid cutting or strimming Umbelifors.
  • Keep skin covered when wading through long vegetation
  • Wash any sap off your skin as soon as possible
  • Use a high factor sun cream
  • Contact your GP if you develop any form of blisters after a woodland visit

*Plant families associated with PPD include:

Umbelliferae, Leguminosae, Apiaceae, Rutaceae, Moraceae, Rosaceae, Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Clusiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Anacardiaceae, Fabaceae, and Ranunculaceae

Sarah Shaw – Volunteer Journey Officer


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