In the hot months of the summer, plenty of people like to cool off with a chilled beverage, from lemonade and iced tea, to beer and refreshing cocktails. However, it turns out that one of the most popular chilled alcoholic drinks can actually burn you, and now, doctors have issued a warning to anyone who plans to drink a margarita outside.
While enjoying the beverage, there is a risk of what has been dubbed a “margarita burn.” If you’re poolside, beachside, on your deck or anywhere in the sun, and you wind up getting a drip of margarita on your skin or hands and don’t wipe it off, you might get a severe burn. The culprit is the drink’s citrus ingredients, which have a chemical in them that, when mixed with sunlight, will burn you.
The medical term for it is phytophotodermatitis and Dr. Tola Oyesanya, a dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente, spoke to WTOP about it, saying, “There’s a reaction that occurs over 24 hours that can cause redness, burning, irritation, even blisters on the skin.” She added, “Limes are probably the most common cause of this condition,” though parsley and parsnips, which also have the caustic chemical in them, can cause it as well.
Doctors have recently noticed more cases of margarita burns and urge people to make sure to wash their hands after handling citrus in the sun. If you do wind up with a margarita burn, a cold compress should help treat it, but if it blisters or itches, you should see your doctor or a dermatologist.