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Thread: fig latex allergy

  1. #1
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    Default fig latex allergy

    i found out today that i'm sensitive to fig latex. i've never had trouble beyond mild itching that goes right away, but on a job today i ran half a fig tree through a chipper. the latex splatters a bit when the foliage goes through, and runs a bit where the wood is cut and within an hour my hands, which are all scraped, cut and blistered from a week and a half or so of landscaping and splitting bambo began to burn, every single place the skin was remotely abraded or lacerated. within 15 min of noticing, it was what i imagine bad poison oak reaction is like. it took two scrubbings with dawn to get it to subside, and i still have a visible, but not bothersome rash.

    if any of you have never had a reaction to figs before, be careful of any cuts or scrapes when cutting the wood or handling the foliage. that stuff can be gnarly.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Canid - did you have any reaction at all in places where you had not done any damage to your skin?
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  3. #3
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Do you have any food allergies?

  4. #4
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    not more than the usual transient and very mild itch. only serious where i had cuts and scrapes.

    no food allergies at all, and no problems eating figs by the lb like a monkey.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
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  5. #5
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how monkeys eat figs but, then again, I probably don't want to know. I've seen where they put their fingers.

    I thought your reaction might be attributable to some similar food type allergy. Interesting.

  6. #6
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    they eat them right out of the tree, like i sometimes do.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Here's some info on figs. If you scroll down to frequently asked questions there is a link that discusses allergic reactions. http://www.pickyourown.org/figs.htm
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  8. #8
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    believe i've read that article before. it's a good one, thank you.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member bulrush's Avatar
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    Never knew fig sap could be a problem. I don't think we have any fig trees in Michigan.

  10. #10

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    Fig latex has a large amount of a protein digesting enzyme called ficin. The latex makes this enzyme stick to skin. It's not so much an allergy as the fact that the skin is literally being digested by the enzyme. It's similar to an enzyme in pineapple. Some people get sores around their mouths when they eat a lot of pineapple. Pineapple doesn't have a latex that makes the enzyme stick to skin though. The reason why I don't think that it's a true "allergy" is that I have no problem eating a lot of figs. Figs have ficin in them, but not as much as in the latex. I also used dish detergent to clean fig latex off. I'm guessing that Tecnu skin cleanser might work better than dish detergent though. I can't recommend Tecnu enough for poison oak.

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