5/12/2011 8:14:45 PM
I had the same thing happen when simply picking figs in the hot afternoon. It turns out that there are at least two reasons why this could happen to you. One is that people who are allergic to latex gloves will also be allergic to fig tree because it has latex in the sap. Even if you are not allergic to latex, there are psoralen and bergapten in the figs, and either can make you have a phototoxic reaction, meaning the rash will only be where both the tree touched you and the sun shined on you. That happened to me, because the long sleeve shirt I had on was extremely thin and light colored so that let in both sun and stuff from the fig tree. I leave the fig trees alone now (I never did eat figs, I was picking them to give away). They say the fig trees shed more "stuff" that bothers people like you and me in the heat of the afternoon, so the old people would always pick figs very early in the morning or right before it is too dark to see.