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Lime Burn
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limeburn posted:
I was at the beach over the weekend. Sunday I woke up to severe redness on my rt hand, as if I had a bad sunburn. It was starting top get swollen. so I took a benadryl in case i was bitten by a spider. Monday my hand was starting to blister on the back side of my hand and was burning bad. went to the Dr. he freaked out and sent me to an infectious diease Dr. he took sample of fluid from blisters It came back as clear fluid. they put me on antibotic and to continue benadryl. still burning and gettin more blisters I began the search myself on the internet. listing everything that I'd come in contact with. I then dicovered that a plant a bought friday the cofee plant would cause contact dermititus. No itching tho. then a remember that on saturday a made margraritas with four fresh limes so I gave the ole internet a worl. and to my suprise I found out about lime burns I just suprised that two medical Dr. didn't reconize this. When I called to imform them,they didn't seem to be concerned. then looking back we remember that a few week ago we were in the bahamas and my daughter got burns on her leg and chest only to resemble a curling iron burn. We had margarita's on the beach with fresh lime. I really think that there is a conection. why is the public not made adware -of this poss danger. especially when conorna adverties the beach, beer and limes. Has anyone else experienced and what is the tx no help from Dr.
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Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi there,

Yes, lime juice is a known photosensitizer so you can definitely get a nasty sunburn from limes and lime juice such as those used in margaritas or even lime slices used as a garnish on your drink.

You may want to stay out of the sun until your skin heals and then be sure to thoroughly wash your hands the next time that you have a drink with lime juice in it.

- Annie
 
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mlogirl responded:
I too have lime burns.

Two weeks ago we had a party for the 4th of July at our house. I was mixing drinks throughout the day by crushing lime and adding sugar, vodka and a splash of cranberry juice poolside.

Later during the day I laid on the grass in my backyard with my bikini on while playing with the dog and thought nothing of it.

The party was on a Sunday. Tuesday morning I woke up and felt a slight itch on my lower back hip and scratched it. I caught a glimpse in the mirror and saw my back was covered in red welts with some blistering. Not like a sunburn, but streaks.

The next day small blisters appeared on my abdomen, 3 days after that blistering and peeling on my hands.

Yesterday has been 2 weeks and I still have red blotches popping up on my hands followed by blistering.

My primary care physician could only scratch his head that I have 3 rashes on 2 separate parts of my body. I got into the dermatologist today. I told him maybe it was a Splenda rash and described the parties events. He immediately diagnosed my rash as lime burn. He told me another of his patients went to the beach and got lime burns on her legs when she squirt some lime juice on a crab bite.

He prescribed a cream, but told me that it will take about 6 months to fully heal. The active stage is dying down and then the brown stage will begin and that will last months before it fades.

I am amazed at the damage that lime can cause to the skin. I hope people learn more about the dangers of it.
 
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Lolo3girls replied to mlogirl's response:
Hi, I also had a similar case. my daughter was 6 months old and we went Maui. We were on the beach and I opened a Corona for my hubby and squirted a lime in it. Then I was holding my daughter. Within a 1/2 hour she was super cranky and so I took her up to our hotel room. I was about to put her in the bath and I saw on her back and arm that she had red splotchy marks that looked like burns. It freaked me out. We rushed her to the ER and they asked if I had contact with limes or lemons. I said yes and he called it a lime burn and diagnosed it as Photodermititus. Gave us some cream and that was it. The next day daughters red marks turned into blisters. It was aweful. I felt terrible. I had no idea this could happen from limes. The marks on her took about 6 months to heal. Well my daughter is 7 now. So last Sunday we were at a friends house for Super Bowl and my girlfriend let her daughter and my daughter eat a slice of lime while they were the spa. Which I wasn't aware of. The next day she had those red marks all on her cheek. I freaked!! It looks so bad, it looks like I abuse my daughter so something, lol! Her teacher asked what was on her face and didn't seem to believe her. Lovely!! This lime burn stuff needs to be more well known to the public. Nobody seems to know about this!! I'm such frustrated mommy!!
 
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singfubliss replied to Lolo3girls's response:
Yes, I agree this needs to be known more public. I went camping last weekend and made fresh lime juice. I too have a bad lime burn on my hand. I first thought it was a sunburn, then thought it could be a spider bit but I finally went to the Dr and right away she diagnosed it as lime burn. She gave me benadryl and prescribed a type of cream. From reading all of your posts. I can not believe I will have to wait about 6 months for it to clear up. It looks really bad!!
 
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SayNo2Limes responded:
I spent a Saturday morning day-drinking with friends and the afternoon at the beach. When I woke up on Sunday, there were red burns the size of a finger pad or resembling a curling iron burn on my hands. Not thinking anything of it, a friend later asked me what happened to my legs since there were red streaks varying in color all over my thighs. Being a hypochondriac, I immediately panicked and had self diagnosed myself with everything from skin cancer to psoriasis. My dermatologist asked me what I had done the day before the symptoms appeared and asked if I had been drinking margaritas. Thinking it was a random question, I replied with no I was drinking vodka sodas with lime. She immediately diagnosed "lime burn" as the cause of my burns. Apparently I was a sloppy drunk who was wiping my hands on my legs after squeezing three limes into my drink and hadn't heard of napkins. Classy. I was told it affects a small percentage of people (lucky me) and can also happen from eating grapefruit, lemons and other acidic foods while in the sun.

All of my friends have laughed at me and I'm just glad to know that this is happening to other people!
 
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royandnan responded:
I can fully sympathize with you. I was in Costa Rica for 3 weeks. I made salsa one day and juiced several limes into the bowl. I stayed the rest of the day in the pool.
two days later I woke up with huge blisters on both hands.
The burning and blisters continued for two more days.
I finally had to go to the emergency room in Costa Rica, because of pain and cellulitis in both hands. To say the least our trip was slowed down by my hands being totally bandaged.
It has been a month since the burn, my hands are so red and sensitive I can not go without my gloves.
Please tell everyone you know about lime juice.
 
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cparker72 responded:
As I sit here typing, my hands are bandaged as a result of the same thing.

I just returned from a week in Turks & Caicos. As a redhead who loves the ocean, beach, and water activities, I have sunscreen application down to a science. Each day while there, I diligently slathered on the SPF 100 sunblock (and my friend, who is also a redhead, took great care to ensure my back was covered as well). One afternoon, we decided to walk to the local beach. After lubing up with our block and donning our swimsuits, we decided to make a couple of margaritas to take with us. I spent a good 5-10 minutes squeezing some limes into our cocktails (they were very hard limes) and then we were off. That night, all seemed great - no sign of a burn! I was quite proud of myself for taking such care to protect my skin.

Then comes the next day. My entire thumb on one hand, and various other small areas across my knuckles on the other are red, burning, and in pain. I figure, "Crap, I must have missed some spots."

The next day, a blister appears on said thumb. As the day progresses, more mini-blisters appear down the rest of that digit, and intense pain and swelling occurs on the middle finger of my other hand, as well as that thumb too. I start Googling "second degree sunburn" to confirm that's what I have (I also Googled "jellyfish sting" to hopefully cancel that out), and upon reading descriptions and seeing (not-so-pretty) photos of burns, it was confirmed. I am baffled at how I could have missed these strange areas of my hands, but been completely fine everywhere else. I follow everyone's advice NOT to pierce and drain any blisters, but to just periodically soothe the burn by running cool water down my hand to take the heat away (also avoiding icing it, per the Internet's advice).

Cut to the last day: the main blister has noticeably increased in size, the swelling is worse than before, and even more little blisters have appeared. Bending my fingers or touching them at all is very painful. Reading article after article in the local magazines about "a burn is a burn; go to the doctor", I finally acquiesce and my friends cart me to the local urgent care for an inspection. The doc seems baffled by the random areas of burn as well, but then the nurse, pondering, finally asks, "Did you by chance happen to squeeze any lemons or limes?" I tell her of my margarita making, and she proceeds to inform me of this "phytophotodermatitis" phenomenon, and a lightbulb above the doc's head appears as he regales me with stories of "Club Med Dermatitis" (it apparently used to occur when Club Med goers would participate in a game wherein you held a lime between your knees and tried to pass it to the next person, who had to grab it with their knees and nothing else). A day later, these people all had red rashes along their inner thighs -- a result of the lime juice and assumed sunlight that inevitably caused the photosensitivity and produced a burn. At this point, I'm quite impressed with Miss Nurse's brilliant medical detective skills.

WHO KNEW about this?? I'd never heard of such a thing. But now that I know, I will certainly take great care to squeeze my limes, wash hands thoroughly, and THEN put on my sunblock before hitting the beach. Or better yet, have the bartender make it for me instead.

It's now been 7 days since my ill-fated margarita mixology, and my hands are still warm to the touch, still blistered, and wrapped. Although with the treatment of anti-bacterial/moisturizing cream and gauze, the blisters are indeed finally shrinking down, and the swelling is almost entirely gone. The doc said to expect them to be present for about 10 days.

Lesson learned! Spread the word to your friends so it doesn't happen to them!
 
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Mohiba K Tareen, MD replied to cparker72's response:
Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Phytophotoderm is not uncommon but can be very uncomfortable.

Did your doc or the brilliant nurse suggest any prescription steroids topicals to soothe the inflammation? Topical steroids are very helpful for the lesions.
Dr. Mohiba Tareen
Tareen Dermatology, Roseville, Minn
Castle Connoly's America's Top Cosmetic Dermatologists
Adjunct Assistant Professor Univ of MN Dept of Dermatology
www.TareenDermatology.com
 
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cparker72 replied to Mohiba K Tareen, MD's response:
Hi Dr. Tareen!

The Urgent Care doc did provide me with some anti-bacterial moisturizing cream, which was I believe called Bacitracin, but I don't know if it was to help with the inflammation. I have been really good about applying this twice a day and keeping my hands covered, so none of my blisters ever ruptured. They have finally all gone down, and now the burned layers are becoming a bit leathery and starting to crack a bit. I'm sure some of that fried dead skin (eew) will start to slough off in the next several days. At least that means I'm healing!
 
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Wellness1520 replied to cparker72's response:
You were diagnosed with phytophotodermatitis, a form of skin irritation brought on by a reaction between photosynthesizing chemicals found in citrus fruits and ultraviolet light from the sun. "UV light changes the structure of the chemicals and causes a toxic reaction on the skin," said Dr. Dawn Davis, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The severity of the reaction depends on the amount of chemical on the skin and the duration and intensity of sunlight exposure, according to Davis. And while the pain and inflammation typically subside in a matter of days, phytophotodermatitis can cause skin pigment changes that linger for weeks or months.
 
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An_253473 replied to cparker72's response:
You were diagnosed with phytophotodermatitis, a form of skin irritation brought on by a reaction between photosynthesizing chemicals found in citrus fruits and ultraviolet light from the sun. "UV light changes the structure of the chemicals and causes a toxic reaction on the skin," said Dr. Dawn Davis, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The severity of the reaction depends on the amount of chemical on the skin and the duration and intensity of sunlight exposure, according to Davis. And while the pain and inflammation typically subside in a matter of days, phytophotodermatitis can cause skin pigment changes that linger for weeks or months.


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