Summer is upon us, and people are out celebrating the loosening of the quarantine restrictions. Before you reach out for your favorite margarita mix, take a moment to learn about the summer margarita rash.
Phytophotodermatitis is a skin rash that occurs after exposure to plant-based chemical compounds that become activated in sunlight. This rash is not an allergic reaction, and it can happen upon first exposure.
About 24-48 hours after exposure, you may develop redness, swelling, blisters, or itchiness, and it could leave the area darker, lasting for years.
Some common offenders are celery, parsnip, parsley, citrus fruits like limes or lemons, and figs. This rash frequently occurs during the summer months in bartenders, food handlers, and grocery workers. The hands are commonly involved from the squeezing of citrus fruits. On the face and neck, dark linear streaks can appear after using essential oils or from runoff from citrus juice applied to the hair.
So next time you are making your favorite summer drink remember to wash your hands immediately after. As always, apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when you are outside. If you develop a worrisome rash, visit your board-certified dermatologist for proper treatment.