Have You Heard of the Margarita Sunburn? Fort Collins Med Spa


Pretty much everyone likes margaritas, especially in the summer! But there’s a dangerous side of margaritas that you should be aware of before the summer passes!

The margarita sunburn is a term for phytophotodermatitis, which occurs when oil or dander from some plants and citrus fruits (such as lime, grapefruit, and Valencia oranges) get on your skin and then is exposed to UV light. This combo causes a chemical burn about a day or two afterwards, which can become severe! It can result in burning, stinging, or blisters, and hyperpigmentation, which can take months to fade. Phytophotodermatitis is a chemical reaction which makes skin hypersensitive to ultraviolet light. It is often mistaken for hereditary conditions such as atopic dermatitis or chemical burns, but is actually caused by contact with the photosensitizing compounds naturally found in certain plants such as citrus fruits. This skin condition is a cutaneous phototoxic inflammatory eruption resulting from contact with light-sensitizing botanical substances and ultraviolet light such as from sun exposure. The appearance often resembles a bruise and may be accompanied by blisters or burning. The reaction typically begins within 24 hours of exposure and peaks at 48-72 hours after exposure.

People with all different skin types are vulnerable to margarita sunburn and can be affected. The severity of the burn depends on the amount of juice sap that was on the skin and the amount of UV exposure. Likewise, people of any age can be affected. The appearance, resembling a bruise, in the shape of handprints or fingerprints, can be mistaken for child abuse.

The best way to reduce the risk of margarita sunburn is to wash the skin with a gentle soap. Otherwise, avoid significant UV exposure and sweating.

For safety this summer, wear lots of sunscreen and definitely do not touch limes and sit in the sun! Talk to us about the excellent SPF moisturizers and other SPF products from Lira that we carry!