Fig leaf tanning lotion and sun-related burns: case reports

Burns. 2001 Nov;27(7):777-9. doi: 10.1016/s0305-4179(01)00033-x.


A sun tan is considered a symbol of well-being in our society, but incorrect methods of sun exposure can create serious problems. We present two cases of severe sun-related burns caused by fig leaf decoction used as home-made tanning lotion. Twenty four-thirty six hours after application and sun exposure, patients developed a phytophotodermatitis characterised by erythema, and blister formation involving all the photoexposed areas (45-70% BSA). Their general conditions became rapidly critical and they were admitted to our Burn Centre. The patients were discharged after 11 and 26 days, respectively. Haemolytic anaemia and retinal haemorrhages presented as systemic complications due to the furocoumarins present in the fig leaf decoction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Burns, Chemical / diagnosis*
  • Burns, Chemical / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plant Preparations / adverse effects*
  • Sunburn*


  • Plant Preparations