The summer months are approaching, which means cookouts, pool parties and beach days — all equipped with fun, fruity drinks.
But if those drinks contain lime, lemon, Bergamot orange, celery or even carrots — you could be at risk of Phytophotodermatitis — more commonly known as “Lime Disease” or “Margarita Dermatitis.”
According to Women’s Health, Phytophotodermatitis is a reaction caused by the chemicals in some fruits and plants — like parsley, parsnip, dill — that make your skin hypersensitive to the sun.
A man in Florida received second-degree burns while squeezing limes for drinks in his backyard the Sunday before Memorial Day.
Aaron Peers told 10 News he had no idea the lime juice on his hands was toxic under the sun and it wasn’t until Tuesday night that the burns began to blister.
Dr. Douglas Robins tells 10 News he gets about a dozen patients a year who experience chemical burns thanks to citrus acid.
“It can take several years to bleach the skin back to normal and there’s no telling what makes one case worse than another but everyone is susceptible.”
According to Dermatologist Michele Green, here is what you need to know about Phytophotodermatitis:
— Within a day or two, people will experience some redness and irritation, or some blistering in more severe cases.
— The most noticeable result is hyperpigmentation, or brown spots, which appear up to a week later and can last for several months.
— If blistering does occur, see a doctor for a prescription-strength hydrocortisone cream.
— If just brown spots are present, simply rub an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream over the effected areas.
— In some cases, a bleaching agent for the hyperpigmentation may be necessary.
How to prevent getting burned?
— Take precaution when handling fruit outside.
— Don’t mix drinks while in the sun, and wash hands immediately so there are no traces of chemicals on them.
— Skip drinks that contain lime all together.
Dr. Green also wants people not to panic. The reaction isn’t dangerous, and it goes away with time.