Groom Suffers 2nd-Degree Burns in Margarita Mishap

'Margarita dermatitis' a rare medical condition, not a drink
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2015 9:59 AM CDT
Groom Suffers 2nd-Degree Burns in Margarita Mishap
In this April 28, 2014, photo, a margarita cocktail is served at the bar of Luna Park restaurant in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo)

A week before his wedding, Aaron Peers doesn't have cold feet, but rather burnt hands. While making margaritas outside with bride-to-be Alyse Golden over Memorial Day weekend, a little lime juice dripped down his fingers and hands and onto his arm as he was squeezing the limes. A day later, the man from Jacksonville, Fla., noticed red burns developing on his skin, and within 48 hours, a huge blister also appeared, First Coast News reports. ER doctors told Peers he had fallen victim to a little-known reaction caused when citric acid mixes with the sun's rays, dubbed "margarita dermatitis," or "lime disease." Essentially, the acid makes skin hypersensitive to sunlight, and exposure can cause nasty burns, blisters, or brown spots, the Daily Express and Women's Health report.

It isn't just limes you need to watch out for: Lemons, carrots, celery, bergamot oranges, parsnips, and dill can also inflame the skin. Dr. Douglas Robins says he sees about a dozen patients each year affected by what is officially known as phytophotodermatitis and that it can take years to bleach skin back to normal. While some people react differently, "everyone is susceptible." Left with second-degree burns, Peers says Photoshop will be a big help for wedding photos. "The blistering is gone and now I'm left with really bright pink skin," he says, adding his wedding ring might not make it on his finger. "Tried it on the other day. It barely fit." Peers and his fiancee have also postponed their dream honeymoon in Hawaii as Peers will have to stay out of the sun for a while. To avoid a similar fate, Robins recommends making summer cocktails indoors before enjoying them in the sunshine. (How McDonald's allegedly treats burns: with mustard.)

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