summer, pool and Daisy flower. Who won’t like it? It may seem innocuous, especially if we opt for the non-alcoholic version of the cocktail. But even in that case you have to be careful, because its preparation at this time of year can be quite expensive. And it turns out that the contact with the sun after having been squeezing limes can cause a skin condition called phytophotodermatitis.
Well, actually the lime is not the only fruit that causes this painful effect. It also happens with others, such as figs. However, cases with files are so common that phytophotodermatitis has even been colloquially baptized as “Margarita Burn” Or what is the same, “daisy burn“.
Luckily, the steroid treatment It is usually very effective and the lesions it causes on the skin disappear quite quickly. But in the meantime, they cause a lot of pain. For this reason, it is worth knowing what it consists of and how it can be avoided, to avoid getting an unpleasant surprise when we prepare a delicious margarita.
The limes in the margarita can burn you
The limes, as well as the rest of citrus and other vegetablessuch as figs, celery or fennel, have a substance called furocoumarin. If it comes into contact with the skin and is not washed off quickly, can be absorbed by its outermost layer and, when activated with the UVA radiation from the Sun, cause burning, redness and blisters equivalent to second degree burns. It is what is known as a phytophotodermatitis.
Symptoms go through several phases. The first eruption originates from lthe first 24 hours, after exposure to furocoumarin and the sun. These first lesions are red and inflamed spots, which later give way to blisters. This happens a couple of days later. Finally, when the inflammation subsides, which happens sooner if treated with steroids, the blisters turn into painless, but highly pigmented patcheswhich can be kept on the skin for months.
Logically, it does not only happen when we prepare a cocktail. However, the condition is known as such because there have been many cases in people who made one or more margaritas at a summer party. For example, last year it was published the case of a 26-year-oldthat cut and squeezed 24 limes while preparing some cocktails to drink at a pool party. Only 7 hours laterthe first rash began to appear, which did not spread only to the hands, but also progressed to the abdomen and thighs, possibly due to the splashes.
How can we avoid phytophotodermatitis?
To avoid margarita burn, there are two very basic tips to follow. The first is to use Solar protection. We should already do this, even if we have not come into contact with fruit or any cocktail, but it is worth remembering.
On the other hand, in case you have been cutting limes or any of the fruits mentioned, or even if you have suffered a splash while drinking a cocktail, you should wash the skin before the compound in question is absorbed by it. That is, at the latest before the next 2 hours. This is applicable to people who are going to be outdoors; but also if, for example, they are very close to a window.
In short, we can enjoy a margarita or any cocktail with citrus during the summer days. But we must take into account some considerations so that the Sun does not play a trick on us. We have enough with normal burns, better not add more fuel to their radiation.