Poinsettia is one of the most delightful decorations during the Christmas season. Natural rubber latex and poinsettia share some common allergen proteins. Hence, people with latex allergy may develop cross-reactivity with poinsettia. We report the case of a 50-year-old white female with a history of latex allergy, who developed a skin rash due to exposure to the poinsettia plant. The patient was admitted to the hospital for evaluation of near syncope. Her diagnostic workup was normal. She received a poinsettia plant from a friend during hospitalization. Because of her latex allergy, we carried out an extensive research of literature which revealed a cross-reactivity between latex allergy and poinsettia. The rash responded well to systemic antihistaminic treatment and removal of the plant from the room.
* Latex allergy is a major health concern in the work place.
* Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) belongs to the same plant family as natural rubber latex (Hevea Brasiliensis). Thus, people with latex allergy have a tendency to develop cross-sensitivity with the poinsettia plant.
* There are two latex allergen proteins that are common to poinsettia and latex.
* The symptoms of latex allergy vary from immediate hypersensitivity (type I), allergic contact dermatitis (type IV), or irritant contact dermatitis.