Margarita Burn Is a Thing And It’s Absolutely Awful

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If you’ve never heard of margarita burn, you’re not alone. I hadn’t either! But after reading the story of a Mom whose little girl had it, I won’t forget. You won’t, either.

Margarita Burn – a Mother’s Story

In June, a mom named Sabrina Miller shared a Facebook post telling the story of what happened to her sweet little girl after a fun family weekend of camping, swimming, and cookouts at the lake. When something awful, and unusual, happened to her little girl, she did everyone a big favor and posted about it. She shared because didn’t want the same thing to happen to other kids.

Here’s what she shared.

“I wasn’t going to post anything about my poor baby Leigh, until someone showed me this post. If anything goes wrong, it’s always happening to my little princess. This little one has had a rough almost 4 years. To start off this summer, this past weekend, she was eating limes at the lake and the lime juice got on her face. Of course we knew nothing of this “margarita burn” and went on with our weekend camping, swimming and being in the sun.

On Monday, she woke up with what appeared to be a severe sunburn in weird shapes on her face. Took her straight into see a dermatologist who thought the same and sent her home with some healing light weight lotion. The next morning, Tuesday, she woke with what looked like 2nd degree burn blisters on her face.

We took her back to the dermatologist who realized it wasn’t just a sunburn. He asked us if she had any citrus this weekend while in the sun, we’re like yeah, she loves limes. He informed us it’s Phytophotodermatitis or margarita burn. So then he 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. “

Phytophotodermatitis aka Margarita Burn

Healthline explains the painful condition by breaking down that big word, and thank goodness they did. It makes it so much simpler to understand.

Phyto, which means plant
Photo, which means sunlight
Dermatitis, which is inflammation of the skin

In the case of Sabrina’s little girl, she had been eating limes at the lake. Personally the only thought I would have had about that was, “Wow. I can’t believe my kid loves limes so much.”

Of course, the lime juice was all over her face while she was playing in the sunshine. Cut to her parents rushing her to a doctor when her little face was covered in blisters and a burning rash. It was caused by ultraviolet light hitting furocoumarin — a chemical found in citrus.

How to Prevent Margarita Burn

It’s pretty simple, really. Lime juice (all citrus actually) should always be completely washed off the skin before being in the sunshine. Whether you’re making a margarita or lemonade, don’t assume none of the juice got on your skin. You could wind up with super itchy and painful blisters and burns, wondering what the heck happened.

And if your kiddo loves oranges, limes, lemons, etc, wash all that sticky juice off before they go play.

Here is the full story from Inside Edition

Protect Your Kids

We are always on the lookout for stories that warn us about trauma other parents and kids have suffered in the hopes that each of us can learn from them. Most parents feel the same way. There are so many dangers for our kids. Places they go, things they do, products that harm them – it’s our job as parents to stay on top of those threats.

Here are some things we’ve written about that you may find helpful. If you have a few extra minutes right now, look them over. There may be things there that help you keep your kiddos safe.

This is a heartbreaking, but important post about baby safety, a post about burns caused by temporary tattoos, information about the danger of aerosol sunscreen on children, and a hard to diagnose nut allergy.

Please, if you have personal experience with an unusual health and safety issue with your own kids, share with us in the comments. You never know who you’re going to help with your story.

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1 thought on “Margarita Burn Is a Thing And It’s Absolutely Awful”

  1. I had a margarita burn as a teen.  Combo of limes for hair lightening, chlorine from pool to rinse off said lime juice, followed by time in the summer sun.  My blistering burns were on my hands.  Excruciating pain.  

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