A refreshing, citrusy drink by the pool sounds pretty good right about now.
But be warned: all that fruit juice you’re squeezing into your drink could have some dangerous effects.
Last summer, a man in Florida even suffered second degree burns on his hands after squeezing limes while outside making margaritas.
It turns out, a rare chemical reaction called phytophotodermatitis can occur when skin is exposed to UV rays and citric oil in foods like grapefruit, lemon, lime, celery, parsley, and even some dander found in wildflowers. Nicknamed “margarita dermatitis,” the reaction, which looks like a rash or blisters, can occur quickly, appearing in less than 15 minutes after being in the sun.
Some people mistake the condition for poison ivy or even regular sunburn. BuzzFeed spoke with Dr. Dawn Davis, board-certified dermatologist with the Mayo Clinic, about how avoid an extreme reaction.
Davis recommends preparing any dishes or drinks with citrus inside (At least that brand new outdoor wet bar will stay nice and clean.). Hands should then be thoroughly washed with soap and water before sun exposure. Davis even recommends wiping your face, arms or other body parts that may have been exposed during juice squeezing.
But what happens if it’s already too late?
Applying a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream to a mild reaction – redness, burning or slight swelling—two or three times a day will soothe the reaction, according to Davis. But in more severe cases with blistering, bright red skin, or even open sores, medical attention may be necessary.
Phytophotodermatitis may be painful for about five days but it may takes months for the area to totally heal.