Yes, you read that right! Lime juice is the cause of this not so lovely burn I am sporting. Ok, well not lime juice alone but lime juice and the sun. I guess I should start from the beginning.
Sunday night after watching the food network, I decided I was going to make carne asada for dinner. Here in Washington state it had been in the 80’s and I wanted to enjoy every minute of it! So when the recipe called for charred veggies for the salsa that went with the carne asada I jumped at the chance to grill. I mean anyone can char it on a grill in the kitchen, but I was going to do it on the BBQ with charcoal. BEST TASTE EVER right? So the first thing I do was get the marinade going for the steak. That part of the recipe calls for 4 limes juiced. I don’t have a juicer so I did it by hand. Once the marinade was finished I put the meat in and put it in the fridge. I rinsed my hands and started to prep the veggies for the salsa.
After going pack and forth from the house to the BBQ, I had charred veggies and some lovely caramelized fruit for dessert. We all sat down for an amazing dinner. I love trying new recipes and bringing new flavors into my home and my family.
Flash forward to the next day. I had to run my dog to the vet. When I got home I noticed that my hands were a bit sore and getting kinda pink. I’m very light-skinned and figured my time in the car or my short time out side BBQing the night before had caused my hands to become a bit burnt. I didn’t really think much of it. But as the day went on my hands became more and more red and painful. I posted on my FB page how only I could manage to burn the tops of my hands and nothing else.
The next day my hand was bright red and starting to blister. I couldn’t figure out how I had burnt my hand so bad and not known it. I wasn’t in the sun long enough to do this kind of damage. I was in and out of the sun as I BBQed. So I thought ” Well maybe I burnt my hands while I was driving the dog to the vet” But again the vet is only 5 mins away, so I wasn’t in the sun very long.
So what does a media savvy blogger like me do? GOOGLE IT!!! LOL I spent forever trying to figure out what happened. Then my husband said ” Well maybe it’s from all the limes you juiced?” Hmmmm well maybe, but not likely. I googled it any way. This is when I first discovered the term Lime Burn or Phytophotodermatitis.
This is no joke.
Phytophotodermatitis is an inflammatory reaction of the skin. It occurs after contact with the leaves and stems of certain plants, followed by exposure to sunlight. This illness starts with a burning sensation followed by a red rash, and sometimes blisters. This starts about 24 hours after exposure. The rash gets worse over 1 to 3 days, then symptoms begin to improve. There is usually no itching. The rash is not contagious.
As symptoms improve, the rash may take on a darker or lighter appearance for weeks to months before it fully fades away. Sometimes these color changes are permanent.
This skin reaction is not an allergic or immune reaction but a reaction between the plant substance and the skin cells. Sunlight is necessary to start the reaction. The lining of the skin cells is damaged. The cells die and flake off (like a bad sunburn).
The plants causing this reaction are found throughout the U.S. and the world. Plants include meadow grass, parsley, carrots, parsnip, celery, limes, fig leaves, lemon, mustard, and chrysanthemums.
Treatment involves washing the skin to remove any remaining plant oils, avoiding sun during the acute phase of the rash, and treating symptoms.
My doctor told me that I basically nuked my skin. The lime juice messed with the pigment in my skin turning it albino, with absolutely no protection from the sun. So even though I wasn’t in the sun for very long it doesn’t take much. Here is a news video I found about it. I can’t believe that I have never heard of this. So I figured with the warm weather of sun and the lime in the Coronas, I should sound the alarms! I don’t wish this on anyone. It really feels like a chemical burn not a sun burn. Much more painful. Maybe I’m just now hearing about it because I’m in Washington and we don’t get a lot of hot days or maybe it’s just not common knowledge. Either way you know now. Your welcome lol I’m still healing and this post took me all day to get typed up. I’m still taking meds for pain but have been able to take less so I must be feeling better.
Here are the progression pictures up to today 5/9. I hope that it won’t get any worse and I’m on the mend. Fingers also crossed that no infection sets in.