Monday, August 13, 2007

Mokihana Dermatitis

Presented by Caitlin Stiglmeier

I am a 23-year old woman with Type 1 skin who was gathering the fragrant mokihana berries in Kokee, Kauai’s mountain park. Twenty-four hours later, I developed a rash of red marks on my arms, half of which later developed into vesiculo-bullous eruptions. The bullae were left alone; the large blister on the forearm was accidentally burst; the remaining smaller eruptions eventually collapsed over a week’s period.

Pelea anisata, (common name: mokihana) is native only to Kauai, Hawaii, growing at elevations of 1,200 to 4,000 feet. The berries are used in lei-making. It is a multi-trunked tree that grows somewhat vine-like. The oils from its leaves and berries have an anise-like aroma and contain furocoumarin which is the cause of the phytophotodermatitis.

Mokihana is found in the mountain areas of Kauai

The berries are prised for their anise-like fragrance.

My Mokihana Dermatitis at day 5

One month later

Elpern DJ, Mitchell JC. Phytophotodermatitis from mokihana fruits (Pelea anisata H. Mann, fam. Rutaceae) in Hawaiian lei. Contact Dermatitis. 1984 Apr;10(4):224-6.
Abstract: Bullous dermatitis, which resolved leaving hyperpigmentation and which was clinically consistent with phytophotodermatitis , affected the skin of the neck of 2 individuals who wore Hawaiian leis (as neck garlands ) made of the fruits of Pelea anisata . In a Daniels culture plate system portions of the fruits showed phototoxicity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome your comments. We endeavor to serve your patients and you. If you want us to respond, please add your name and email address. Some people have trouble uploading comments. In that case, please send comments directly to Thank you.