Summer means beach trips, barbecues, and endless margs. But if you’d like to practice your bartending skills this season, you might want to consider mixing your drinks inside.
Last summer, a Floridan man suffered second-degree hand burns after squeezing a lime into his margarita outside.
The combination of lime juice and UV rays lead to some serious skin issues—and it turns out the rash isn’t too hard to contract. The burns are caused by a reaction called phytophotodermatitis.
First We Feast spoke with Dr. Darrell Gonzales, a dermatologist at Coastal Dermatology in La Jolla, CA about the rash. Dr. Gonzales explains that phytophotodermatitis is a very real, very painful reaction. Most patients who come to him with phytophotodermatitis have been squeezing limes into their Corona, says Gonzales.
A photo posted by hellsbells313 (@hellsbells313) on Oct 26, 2014 at 5:38pm PDT
The aftermath of drinking (with limes) & fun on the beach …. i have phytophotodermatitis, who gets that!? …. ME
— Chloe Cook (@theonlychloe) July 17, 2015
Phytophotodermatitis is caused whenever the skin is exposed to the specific type of oil that is found in summertime favorites such as grapefruit, lemon, lime, celery, parsley, and even some wildflowers, and then exposed to the sun.
While you won’t contract the reaction from just drinking a margarita, you will get a gnarly reaction if you decide to squirt a lime in it and it gets on your skin. The reaction can occur fast, appearing in less than 15 minutes after being in the sun.
People often mistake phytophotodermatitis for other common summertime rashes such as poison ivy, poison oak, or just a horrible sunburn.
I just looked up Phytophotodermatitis due to an article I read & now want to simultaneously gauge my eyes out and have sudden onset amnesia
— aimée moretti (@aimeesm_) July 26, 2015
Fortunately, there are a few ways to avoid getting burned, the most effective being washing the exposed area immediately after contact (or not squeezing limes haphazardly into your Corona).
If you do happen to be one of the unfortunate souls to contract this gruesome rash, there are a few treatments to help ease your pain. Gonzales says some sort of topical steroid is typically used to treat the irritated area.
Finally getting better!! BEWARE of lime juice and sun exposure. No joke. #Phytophotodermatitis #limeburn #seconddegreeburn
A photo posted by @jeniakosoy on Jul 6, 2015 at 5:31am PDT
Still, the next time you and your friends take poolside tequila shots, be sure to move the party inside before chasing your drink with a lime.