Drink Margaritas Outside and Get ‘Lime Disease’

Formally known as phytodermatitis, this skin condition occurs when lime juice touches your sun-exposed skin
‘Lime Disease’ From Margaritas?

Photo tower of limes Modified: Flickr/darwin Bell/CC 4.0

Lime juice and other citrus fruits could react with your sun-exposed skin.

It’s always nice to cool off from the summer heat by drinking a margarita or Corona with lime, but be careful — lime juice can actually irritate and burn your skin in the sun.

Phytophotodermatitis, sometimes referred to as “lime disease,” is a skin condition that occurs when certain chemicals from plants and fruits touch skin exposed to UV rays.

The skin reaction looks like sunburn or an itchy dry patch — see these graphic images of people who accidentally spilled lime juice on their skin while in the sun, courtesy of Buzzfeed. Phytophotodermatitis also occurs if wild parsnip, wild dill, wild parsley, buttercups, and other citrus fruits touch your skin.

Most times, people think that the skin reaction is a reaction to poison ivy or poison oak. As a precaution, wash your hands after handling citrus fruits — especially if you are hosting a backyard party.


Phytophotodermatitis eventually goes away on its own and can be treated by applying a cold, wet cloth to the affected area.