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A woman was left with painful ‘margarita burns’ after lime juice she used while making cocktails spilt on her hands and reacted with the sunlight. You can see what happened here:
Ashleigh Booth, was isolating with her family at home in Byron Bay in Australia after they all tested positive for Covid-19 last month.
The 23-year-old decided to make the most of her bartending skills and whipped up some strawberry daiquiris and margaritas - with fresh lime juice - for herself, her mum, her sister and their partners.
After their day of swimming and cocktails, trainee teacher Ashleigh went to bed as normal but was horrified to wake up and find her hands were covered in burns, leaving them painful and swollen.
Ashleigh, from New South Wales, Australia, said: "It was super strange, my hands were on fire for ages.
"They started blistering and that was definitely the worst part. There was nothing I could do about the heat.
"I couldn't put my arms down because all the blood rushes to your hands. They were throbbing.
"I had to keep my hands elevated by resting them on my shoulders. It was a funny, awkward position.
"I had hard, tough skin and it felt almost reptilian."
Ashleigh, who works as a bartender, said she was unaware of the potential danger caused by lime juice reacting in the sunlight, causing a painful injury called phytophotodermatitis, or contact dermatitis.
Ashleigh said: "I was only juicing two or three limes to make a round of drinks, then going outside, swimming in the pool and having lunch in the sun as you do during Christmas in Australia.
"It was just consistent throughout the day that I'd juice a few limes every couple of hours when it was needed.
"I'd juiced about 10 throughout the day which is hardly any for me. Usually in the bar I'm doing a lot more than that.
"I was rinsing my hands because they get sticky, but not thoroughly enough because I was getting in the pool and didn't think much of it.
"I don’t remember them hurting or even noticing that they were red that night."
Ashleigh was left in so much pain she had to go to hospital where medics thought it might have been caused by an allergy and gave her antihistamines and steroid cream - neither of which worked.
And it was eventually her neighbour who diagnosed the problem.
Ashleigh explained: "I called my neighbour who is a pharmacist. I spoke to her and she said 'I'll call you back - I have something in mind'.
"She called her friend who's a nurse and luckily they'd just had someone in who had the same thing. She asked 'have you been juicing limes?'
"We went back to the hospital and as soon as I said I'd been juicing limes in the sun, he knew straight away what it was.”
A month on, Ashleigh still needs to use cream on her hands, and the areas affected by the phytophotodermatitis are noticeably pinker.
She said: "I've still got the burns. I have to wear gloves out in the sun and my skin tone on my hands is different and quite pink, but they're much better."
Ashleigh is now urging any other wannabe bartenders to invest in a proper juicer and ensure they thoroughly wash their hands after juicing limes.
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media
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