Many families head to the nearest lake, swimming pool, or beach to spend the day in the sun during the summer months. Parents need to be cautious especially with young kids in water.
This is something that 3-year-old Leigh from California experience following a recent trip. She woke up with strange shapes on her face which appeared to be a severe sunburn.
Her mother now wants to warn other parents of a rarely discussed danger.
As a parent, you are constantly on guard when it comes to keeping your children safe.
Household items such as sharp objects and chemicals can be a parent’s worst nightmare, and placed out of a child’s reach.
Sometimes it’s a harsh reality that, that we aren’t always able to protect them from absolutely everything.
Often we aren’t aware of the potential dangers when playing in the sun with your children. Especially when Sabrina Miller’s daughter woke up with horrific burns on her skin.
She brought her daughter to the doctor, but she didn’t get the help she needed as the doctor didn’t take the burns seriously.
Sabrina was sent home with a lotion to soothe the 3-year-old’s skin.
However the little girl suffered even more.
The following morning Leigh woke up, her face had broke out in blisters resembling second-degree burns.
“She’s like, ‘Why is this happening to me?’” Sabrina said.
Sabrina brought her daughter to a dermatologist – being her mother she knew something wasn’t right.
“I was just kind of traumatized, I was like, crying my eyes out, [wondering], ‘What is going on with her?’” the mom said.
The dermatologist asked Sabrina: If her daughter had any contact with any citrus fruits while in the sun?
“We’re like yeah, she loves limes,” Sabrina told the doctor.
The doctor informed her about a syndrome called Phytophotodermatitis or “margarita burn.”
The juice and oil of limes contain chemicals called photosensitizers, which can make the skin extra-sensitive to sunlight.
Phytophotodermatitis is a phototoxic reaction that causes irregularly-shaped and itchy blisters. It starts to develop within 24 hours of exposure.
“It only develops in areas where the chemical touches the skin, explaining odd shapes like streaks or dots where lime juice may have dripped down the skin or splashed,” Joshua Zeichner, medical director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, explains.
What to do if you have margarita burn.
Please be careful when drinking margaritas or when you are handling any fruits or plants that contain furocoumarin. Make sure to wash up after handling any citrus fruit, celery, figs, fennel, or even parsnips.
“The initial rash is fiery red and it often heals with a dark brown black,” Zeichner added.
Unfortunately, there is no method to prevent or ease the “margarita burn” once it has set in. It can take weeks for the wounds and blisters heal, however there usually isn’t any permanent scarring.
Sabrina’s daughter eventually received the treatment she required. The dermatologist popped the blisters and put a dressing on.
In a Facebook post, she gave her family and friends a update:
”He (the doctor) released the pressure of the burns, drained them, and dressed them with steroid ointment. Still being seen daily, the next week or so is just a healing process for my poor princess”, Sabrina wrote. Be careful this summer Generally speaking, I think it’s always a good idea to make sure you protect yourself and your children while being in the sun.
Some plants that may cause phytophotodermatitis include:
- citrus fruits (most commonly limes)
- wild dill
- wild parsley
- wild parsnips
Who knew that limes could cause such severe injuries.
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