A man from Florida had a rare and skin reaction that left him with second-degree burn and the culprit was the seemingly harmless lime juice.
The skin reaction known as phytophotodermatitis is a toxic reaction that can result from citric acid being mixed with sunlight. The condition, also known as "lime disease," or "margarita dermatitis," appears to be more prevalent in Florida particularly during the summer holidays when people often use lime juice for mixed drinks.
Such was actually what happened with Aaron Peers, who unfortunately suffered from the unwanted skin reaction a week before his wedding day.
The Sunday before Memorial Day, Peers was at his backyard squeezing limes to make margaritas. He was not aware that the lime juice on his hands could turn toxic under the sun.
By the following night, he noticed burns starting to appear and by Tuesday, Peers woke up with a huge blister on his hand. He was then brought to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with second-degree burns.
Lime juice can cause the skin to be hypersensitive to the rays of the sun and this can trigger burning, stinging and cause blisters and it often takes between two to three days after exposure to the sun before the unwanted and painful reaction emerges. Besides limes, lemons, parsnips and carrots can also lead to this painful condition.
Dr. Douglas Robins says that each year, he deals with a number of patients who suffer from the condition officially known as phytophotodermatitis. He said that bleaching the skin back to normal could take years.
Robins also added that although some people have different reactions, everyone is susceptible and there's no telling what could make one case worse than the other. Nonetheless, he advised making cocktails indoors to avoid the sun and prevent the occurrence of the agonizing reaction.
Peers said that although the blistering is gone, the reaction had left him with some problems. For one, his wedding ring now barely fits in his finger albeit he is hopeful it could still fit come his wedding day.
"So the blistering is gone and now I'm left with really bright pink skin," Peers said. "If you can imagine when I was actually squeezing the limes how the juice might run over and it got up my arm. The most normal reaction is that's gross, which I agree, it's super gross."
Photo: Darwin Bell | Flickr