weirdest alergic reaction yet

KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)May 12, 2013

For mothers day I went to help mom by harvesting her green beans for her. By the time I was half way through my arms from about the mid upper arm to my fingertips was mottled red to solid red and itched and burned at the same time. I did manages to collect two good sized bowls of green beans before I had to stop and take some allergy medicine and smear cortizone over my arms. What's so weird is that I eat green beans all the time without a problem! I guess this is just one more thing that I will need to discuss with the doctor.


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juneroses Z9a Cntrl Fl

Kara: Weird but not uncommon. I googled "green beans contact dermatitis". Info there indicated that an itchy rash is common for many people and associated with many different vegetables - green beans among them.

The rash is caused by the rough hairs on the leaves, the hairs actually being little stickers.

Maybe this was the cause of your reaction. Certainly you'll want to follow-up with your doctor.

Meanwhile, stay out of the bean patch!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 3:33PM
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My husband took socks and cut the foot part off and pulls it over his arms to harvest.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 8:01PM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

Thank you for the information! I'd had no idea that green bean leaves could do that. I'll have to keep an eye on what type of leaves various vegis have before starting to harvest. Thankfully the rash went away after a few hours.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:22AM
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ibarbidahl(9 (tampa-ish))

It happens to me ALL.THE.TIME. Either cortizone before you get out there or cover your arms when you harvest. THere are a few ways around it. You can harvest pole beans to help with this or keep it to dry beans to help. Good news is even after all these years it never got any worse for me. Just itches like crazy and look horrible for a good hour or two.

Nightshades are likely to get you, too so be aware of them.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Sorry you had this reaction. I had that same reaction to my spinach tree. The hairy leaves made me itch every time I pruned it. I love the tree but took it out because of that. Also, bow tie vine, which I also loved, but took out. :o(

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:14AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

So sorry you had a less-than-ideal Mothers Day! If it is a contact dermatitis, maybe some aloe vera gel, calamine lotion &/or witch hazel might help

I recommend gloves & long-sleeved shirts

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:56AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Kara, sorry to hear about the rash and I hope that you are completely healed today. I don't remember ever to have any allergic reaction to any plant but I know of some people being very allergic to papaya sap, the fig leaves, even the banana. Your best bet is to use always long sleeves when harvesting or even pruning some plants.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Hi Kara, Another possibility is that you were reacting to something on the green bean plants and not the contact with the plants themselves. Both fertilizer and pesticide residues can cause contact dermatitis. I have even heard of people having issues with certain composted organic fertilizers due to the compost containing foods/substances they were allergic too. Just another food for thought. Either way using gloves and sleeves to avoid contact should help you on future garden raids. :D

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 3:02PM
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KaraLynn(z9 FL, Inverness, Citrus)

I can count out pesticides and fertilizers since mom doesn't use any pesticides or spray fertilizers in the garden. As for other plants in the garden I am careful when coming into contact with a plant I'm unfamilar with after I discovered the hard way that I had a very painful reaction to elephant ear sap. The one time I got the sap on my hands it felt like I had set them on fire! The green bean plants just really caught me by surprise. I will definately be wearing long sleaves the next time I help mom in her vegi garden!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 8:29PM
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