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Allergic Reaction to Bougainvillea?


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 418 Posts

Have you or do you know of anyone that has had an allergic reaction to a bougainvillea plant?

I have had an allergic reaction to something and I'm not sure what it was. It has affected my whole body. My blood pressure was 225/99 when I was admitted to the hospital on 10-10-19, I was dehydrated and my potassium and sodium were low.

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I was fine until September 11, 2019. I took my hanging basket of this plant down. It had grown large and was hard for me to handle without getting touched by the plant. I think the thorns on it hit my arm. I had 3 little bumps that turned into a 2" X 4" inch welt. It itched like crazy. It took over a week for the welt to disappear and my face had broken out into a rash that felt like poison oak and a bad sunburn. It affected my eyes as well. It lasted a month and didn't start getting better until I stopped getting near the plant. As of October 7, when I went to my doctor to get a prescription for eye drops, my rash was gone. This is when I found out that my blood pressure was in the high danger zone. I am now getting my blood pressure under control. My blood pressure has never been a problem until this happened.

This is the information that I found on the internet:

Thorns. Bougainvillea's leaves are not toxic, but a prick from the plant's sharp thorns can lead to dermatitis, a skin rash typically caused by an allergic reaction. Symptoms of dermatitis caused by bougainvillea resemble that of poison oak or poison ivy, and may include pain, itching, stinging, or burning skin, blisters, scaly rash, swelling, and sores.

I am thinking that this would be just the area of the prick and not anywhere else on the body.

I would like to know if anyone else has had a bad reaction from this plant that affected the whole body.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
October 16, 20192 found this helpful

Anyone can be allergic to anything. An allergist can confirm what you are allergic to.

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Anonymous
October 16, 20191 found this helpful

This same type allergy affected me in 2014 without a blood pressure problem. A dermatologist saw me and gave me a prescription for Elidel ointment for my skin. That little tube of medicine cost $200.00. I had half of the tube left over and that is what I used this time and it helped. I also had blood drawn to check to see what I was allergic to and the test came back that I was allergic to a lot of things so she sent me to an allergist.

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He looked at the list of things the blood test showed and told me I was not allergic to all those and a skin test was done. Nothing showed up on the skin tests. It's crazy.

I am allergic to gluten and some medications.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 418 Posts
October 16, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you. I would have to have that done when I am having the allergic reaction. Too late for that now. I'm asking if anyone has experienced an allergy to the bougainvillea plant.

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January 15, 20200 found this helpful

Got swollen thumb so swollen it wouldnt bend
Swollen bump on other finger

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January 22, 20200 found this helpful

I just took down a bogenvillia and was jabbed 5 times both arms, it hurts for sure, its the finger prick thats the worst, damn thing even went thru my shoe to pick my foot! No going to doctor- will put an antibiotic on it-

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April 28, 20200 found this helpful

I was poked in my index finger 5 weeks ago by a bougainvillea thorn. My entire body felt like it was infested with fire ants biting me everywhere. It was so painful and itchy. My mouth itched and tingled, my eyes, inside my ears and other body orifices. My dr put me on an antibiotic. Nothing happened. Then she put me in 21 days of Prednisone.

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Nothing. She prescribed a topical cream which works on the itchy welts for about 20 minutes. I've been taking epsom salt baths several times a day and eating benadryl like its candy. Nothing wants to stop this thing. Every day I wake up with 3 to 5 new welts. I'm miserable and want this over! Any helps is appreciated!

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May 28, 20200 found this helpful

Why wife has exactly your symptoms but this only happened a few weeks ago. Did you find a solution? She is miserable.

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March 16, 20220 found this helpful

Visit to my Mom in Jamaica .Decided to clean up and trim shrubs. Pruned several Boganvilla trees.
Later that night my entire arms were covered in huge bumps and rash.

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Intense itching. Every where I was stuck with a thorn was swollen.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
October 17, 20191 found this helpful

The thorns on the plant are dangerous and if you are hit by one, picked by one, or even scratched by one they can make you have the reaction you are talking about. My dad was triming roses and one scratched hi leg. He had the same issues as you are having right now. He was very sick for several months after this one. These plants can be dangerous and it is not an easy plant to cut back and take care of because of the thorns on them. I had to remove all of them from my yard because I am allergic to them too.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 418 Posts
October 17, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 418 Posts
October 17, 20190 found this helpful

Our son and daughter in law gave me that plant for Mother's Day and I didn't have any problem with it until it got larger and was hard for me to handle without getting touched by it. I gave it back to them and told him to take it home and enjoy it but don't get near enough to it that it will stick you.

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It is a beautiful plant but I don't want another one. They will not survive during the cold winter in our area so it would have to be trimmed back and brought inside.

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