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24. Sesquiterpene Lactone Mix


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24. Sesquiterpene Lactone Mix
Your patch tests have shown a positive reaction to SESQUITERPENE LACTONE MIX. This is a mixture of substances which is used as a screening test for allergy to members of the daisy family (Compositae). The following list gives an idea of some possible sources. This is meant as a guide, and does not mean you are necessarily allergic to everything on this list!
The Compositae family is one of the largest in the plant kingdom and includes many ornamental plants as well as wild flower and some vegetables and herbs. These include:



Wild flowers/weeds



Garden ornamentals


Vegetables/herbs

Dandelion

Yarrow


Ragweeds

Chamomiles/Mayweeds

Mugwort


Chrysanthemums

Dahlia


Cineraria

Arnica


Golden rod

Elecampane

Rudbeckia

Gaillardia

Helenium

Sunflower

Liatris


Chamomile

Chicory


Lettuce

Endive


Feverfew

Tansy



If your skin rubs against any of these plants you may develop an eczematous reaction several hours or a few days later. Occasionally airborne pollen from some of these plants may be the cause of eczema developing on your face, neck, hands or other exposed areas.
It is therefore advisable to avoid direct contact with these plants and ideally it is best to avoid growing them in your garden.
Avoidance may be difficult for people who work outdoors, eg gardeners, and for people who must handle such plants daily, eg florists and food handlers. Nitrile gloves (Nitratouch or Nitratex, Ansell Medical, 0208 4811804) can help to reduce exposure to plant allergens.
Apart from direct contact with the plants, other sources include:
Aromatherapy oils (eg tagetes)

Herbal remedies (eg chamomile, arnica)

Cosmetics and toiletries

Dried flowers (eg safflower, everlastings)


Sesquiterpene lactones are also found in some liverworts (sometimes causing skin problems in foresters), magnolias and sweet bay (Laurus nobilis).


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