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Phytophotodermatitis in 19 children admitted to hospital and their differential diagnoses: Child abuse and herpes simplex virus infection

      Background

      Phytophotodermatitis is a non-immunologic cutaneous reaction that can be provoked after contact with plants containing psoralens followed by sun exposure.

      Objectives

      The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical features of phytophotodermatitis and its differential diagnoses, especially child abuse and herpes virus infection.

      Methods

      Nineteen children seen in two county hospitals are described.

      Results

      The 19 children had various cutaneous manifestations, which were mistaken in one patient for child abuse and in one child for herpes simplex virus infection.

      Limitations

      The doctors' perception is based on the doctors' education.

      Conclusion

      Children are susceptible to contact with psoralen-containing plants followed by sun exposure. Phytophotodermatitis is a difficult diagnosis, which can sometimes lead to the inappropriate investigation of child abuse or herpes simplex virus infection.
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