By Gary M. White, MD
The sap of the Agave americana, commonly known as the century plant, can be very irritating and cause an irritant contact dermatitis.
- The sap of this plant has irritant properties due its calcium oxalate crystals, oxalic acid, and saponins.
- Agave americana may be found in much of Europe and Mexico.
Linear and patchy, inflammatory, eczematous lesions on exposed skin is most typical.
Topical steroids may be given. Avoidance of contact with the plant in the future is of course recommended.
An adult man man with an intensely pruritic rash on his arms and legs. The day before, he had used a chainsaw to cut down an Agave americana plant. He had been splashed with a great deal of sap and lesions had subsequently appeared on the areas of his body not covered by clothing.
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