Drink Margaritas Outside and Get ‘Lime Disease’
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Formally known as phytodermatitis, this skin condition occurs when lime juice touches your sun-exposed skin
Lime juice and other citrus fruits could react with your sun-exposed skin.
It’s always nice to cool off from the summer heat by drinking a margarita or Corona with lime, but be careful — lime juice can actually irritate and burn your skin in the sun.
Phytophotodermatitis, sometimes referred to as “lime disease,” is a skin condition that occurs when certain chemicals from plants and fruits touch skin exposed to UV rays.
The skin reaction looks like sunburn or an itchy dry patch — see these graphic images of people who accidentally spilled lime juice on their skin while in the sun, courtesy of Buzzfeed. Phytophotodermatitis also occurs if wild parsnip, wild dill, wild parsley, buttercups, and other citrus fruits touch your skin.
Most times, people think that the skin reaction is a reaction to poison ivy or poison oak. As a precaution, wash your hands after handling citrus fruits — especially if you are hosting a backyard party.
Phytophotodermatitis eventually goes away on its own and can be treated by applying a cold, wet cloth to the affected area.
A refreshing non-alcoholic take on the classic margarita. Fresh lime, sparkling orange flavor, a pinch of sweet and a salt rim energizes all your tastebuds.
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1 cup Orange Seltzer (chilled)
- Stevia (to taste)
- Lime Wedge
- Salt (optional)
- Salt the rim of a margarita glass. (optional)
- Combine lime juice, seltzer and Stevia.
- Add ice and garnish with a lime wedge.
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- 3 cups Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
- 2 cups tequila
- 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup superfine sugar or powdered sugar
- Kosher salt
- 9 lime wedges
- Ice cubes
In a pitcher combine Triple Sec, tequila, lime juice, and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Chill mixture until ready to serve.
Place salt on a small plate. Rub rims of eight glasses with one of the lime wedges. Dip rims of glasses in salt to coat.
Place ice cubes in salt-rimmed glasses. Pour tequila mixture over ice cubes. Garnish with remaining lime wedges.
What is “margarita disease”?
Sunshine and fresh fruit sound like a recipe for a fun summer. But beware: that combination can cause a severe skin condition with painful blisters and scarring.
Phytophotodermatitis, also known as “lime burn” or “margarita disease”, is a reaction caused by the sun’s UV rays activating a chemical, called furanocoumarin. Limes and lemons contain high amounts of furanocoumarin, hence the nicknames. The chemical also is found in mangoes, carrots, celery, parsley, figs and some wild plants.
“Phytophotodermatitis can cause skin cells to rupture and fluid pockets to form under the skin,” says Dr. Vivek Iyengar a dermatologist on staff at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill. “It feels like a mild to severe sunburn and can leave a discolored scar than can last for months.”
Even small amounts of lime juice in the presence of sunlight can trigger the reaction, he warns.
Dr. Iyengar explains that your skin may not show symptoms for 24 – 48 hours after exposure. When blisters appear, do not break them, he advises. This can cause infection and permanent scarring. Instead, he recommends visiting a primary care doctor or a dermatologist right away.
In some cases, Dr. Iyengar adds, the blistering never occurs, but the patient may notice dark spots or streaking on the areas of the skin that may have been exposed.
Anyone who handles limes or other high-furanocoumarin foods outdoors is at risk. The danger is higher during the summer because people spend more time outside, and the sun produces stronger UV rays.
To avoid contracting phytophotodermatitis, says Dr. Iyengar, wash your hands well after handling citrus fruits. Use gloves if you must handle many of them. Also, be sure to apply sunscreen, which blocks certain UV rays.
Healthy Mocktail Recipes | Festive Sparkling Water Mocktails
DIY Sparkling Water Bar
Impress your guests at your next brunch or shindig, with this DIY Sparkling Water Bar. Set out fresh fruit, herbs, pure flavor extracts, and bottles of sparkling water for a festive party, sans alcohol!
Sparkling Rainbow Mocktail Recipes
These gorgeous healthy mocktail recipes from Lindsey at Nutrition to Fit, are 100% fruit and vegetable based, topped off with your favorite sparkling water. Choose from grapefruit basil, coconut matcha, blackberry plum, and raspberry lime mint. Or, create your own!
Fruity Green Tea Spritzer
Refresh and rehydrate with this pineapple-infused Fruity Green Tea Spritzer from Karman at The Nutrition Adventure!
Enjoy the Fun and Festivity of Mocktails
If you’re looking for a festive non-alcoholic way to share a special occasion, a flavorful mocktail could be the perfect solution. And while most mocktails aren’t health superstars, when you make your own, you can create some pretty delicious — and fun — experiences.
Blueberry Lime Margarita Anyone? It’s our New Summer Go-To!
It’s so easy to overindulge in alcoholic drinks in the summer. Who doesn’t love cocktails with friends when it’s balmy outside and light well into the evening. This summer, why not drink to your health? It’s easy to reduce your alcohol consumption by discovering a fav mocktail. Put it in your favorite cocktail glass, add a garnish, and voila, you will have a satisfying non-alcoholic drink.
Try our Blueberry-Lime Margarita — it’s a breeze to make! It will give your body ample potassium to help manage fluid and energy balance and loads of health supportive antioxidants-all without the excessive calories and refined carbohydrate of traditional margaritas. The unbelievable flavor will easily satisfy any summer fruity drink craving, too. Cheers!
While we are on the topic of cocktails, h ere’s a common question: It’s summer and I really want a cocktail, will having one ruin all my hard work? Find out here.
Blueberry Lime Margarita
2 cups organic frozen blueberries
1/2 cup organic unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/2 cup fresh organic lime juice
4 organic lime wedges, for garnish
sea salt, for garnish (optional)
- In a blender, place the ice, blueberries, juice, seltzer, and lime juice
- Blend until smooth
- If salting the rim of the margarita glasses, rub a lime wedge around the
- rims of 4 glasses.
- Dip rims lightly in sea salt
- Pour Margarita into glasses and place lime wedges on the rim of
- the glasses
- Serve and enjoy!
Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters. To learn more about Melissa’s coaching practice at Blum Center for Health, click here.
Why You Should Never Squeeze Lemons Outside
During your next picnic or backyard bbq, you might want to be wary of making lemonade or squeezing a lime into a drink outside. Getting fruit juice on your skin while the sun is beaming can result in a really nasty chemical burn. How, you ask?
Phytophotodermatitis is a skin condition caused by the chemicals in some fruits and plants &mdash namely limes, lemons, and celery &mdash that make your skin hypersensitive to sun and can often trigger a reaction. (It's occasionally referred to as "margarita dermatitis" or "lime disease" &mdash no, not that Lyme Disease.) Other foods that have the same effect include anise seed, carrots, dill, fennel, fig, and parsley.
"When citrus juice interacts with ultraviolet light, it can cause a chemical reaction on your skin," explains Dr. Mona A. Gohara, a dermatologist in Connecticut. "The result is usually a pink, red, or purple patch on your skin." (Need convinincg? A Florida man recently got second-degree burns in an extreme case.) Discolorations usually pop up within a day or two of exposure. But about a week later, you may also see brown spots or hyperpigmentation that can last for several months.
So how do you treat it? "Keep the area very well lubricated with Vaseline or another ointment, especially if it's a blister. There's no need for an antibiotic ointment," Gohara says. If you have a bad reaction, doctors can prescribe a strong hydrocortisone cream. Either way, the reaction isn't dangerous and does heal over time.
For brown spots that linger, there are prescription bleaching agents, though they should fade on their own. But Gohara recommends applying a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher at least every two hours. "If not, the brown patches can get darker and more permanent if you don't protect yourself from the sun."
If you want to avoid it to begin with, be sure to wash any food or fruit juice residue off your skin with soap and water before heading out in the sun. And don't mix drinks outside unless you're in a covered area. You should also watch out for any spills that may have gotten on your arms or legs.
Also remember: If you're putting lemon juice in your hair, for example, make sure to clean off your face before sunning. Says Gohara, "You should enjoy yourself outside and make food or drinks with citrus &mdash just wash your hands right away."
Health benefits of drinking lime juice and warm lime water
Every time you drink a glass of lime juice, you not only quench your thirst, you also give your body a lot of health benefits. In spite of the wealth of information about the health benefits of lime, I&rsquom still faced with questions like, &ldquoIs lime juice good for you?&rdquo Well, take a look at just some of its many benefits and the answer will be clear:
- Skin care
- Digestive aid
- Supporting healthy blood sugar levels
- Heart health
- Joint care
- Treatment of scurvy
- Temperature regulation
- Weight loss
Skin care: Lime juice and its natural oils are beneficial for skin when consumed orally or applied externally. Drinking warm lime water helps to hydrate the skin. The vitamin C and flavonoids in lime juice help rejuvenate the skin, keep it shining. And its antibiotic and disinfectant properties protect it from infections and reduce body odor.
When applied externally on skin, its acids scrub out the dead cells, cure dandruff, rashes, and bruises. You can also mix lime juice or oil into your bathing water to create a refreshing bathing experience and leave you with a glow on your face. No wonder many cosmetic ads rave about the benefits of lime juice on the face.
Digestive aid: The moment you smell lime, your mouth waters because its irresistible smell triggers a response and saliva floods your mouth even before you taste it. And as you know, saliva is an important aid in digestion. But that&rsquos not all. The natural acidity in lime helps in the breakdown of the macro molecules of the food.
The flavonoids help as well. These compounds found in the fragrant lime oils stimulate the digestive system and increase secretion of digestive juices, bile and acids. This flood of flavonoids also stimulate the muscles that help the food go down the intestine. In fact, lime is such an important digestive aid that most restaurants in India have lime pickle as a standard feature on the table along with salt and pepper.
Constipation: The benefits of lime juice with honey are plenty but it is most used in helping relieve constipation. The acids present in lime help clear the excretory system by washing and cleaning off the tracts, in the same way as some acids are used to clean floors and toilets.
While the roughage in lime is helpful in the bowel movement, the most beneficial element is the high acidity. Large quantities of lime juice along with salt can also be used as a safe purgative, thereby providing relief from constipation.
Blood sugar control: Limes and other citrus fruits are considered a diabetes superfood for a number of reasons. This fact is even endorsed by the American Diabetes Association. The high levels of soluble fiber found in limes helps it regulate the body&rsquos absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This helps reduce the occurrence of blood sugar spikes which are a serious risk to people with unhealthy blood sugar levels. In addition to the benefits of soluble fiber&rsquos effect, limes and other citrus fruits also have a low glycemic index, which again helps in controlling blood sugar spikes.
Heart disease: That same soluble fiber which can help diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels can also lower blood pressure and eliminate the presence of LDL cholesterol (&ldquobad&rdquo cholesterol). Furthermore, soluble fiber can cut down on inflammation of the blood vessels, which is now considered the main culprit in cardiovascular problems.
Respiratory disorders: The flavonoid-rich oil that is extracted from limes is extensively used in anti-congestive medicines such as balms, vaporizers and inhalers due to the presence of kaempferol. In fact, just scratching the peel of a lime and inhaling it gives immediate relief for congestion and nausea.
Joint care: One of the many causes of joint discomfort is an excess of uric acid that builds up in the body. Uric acid is one of the waste products that normal urination will clear out of the body, but unfortunately, when too much builds up, it can settle in and around joints and cause pain and inflammation.
The citric acid found in citrus fruits like limes can help dissolve the uric acid deposits which are then eliminated in the urine. No wonder many doctors recommend lime juice to people with symptoms of gout. In addition to uric acid disposal, limes also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve a number of inflammation issues.
Scurvy: In the past, soldiers and sailors were given lime to keep them safe from scurvy, the potentially fatal disease which is caused from a deficiency of vitamin C. People with scurvy suffer from repeated infections and the most common symptoms are cracked lips and lip corners, ulcers in the oral cavity (tongue and mouth) and normal cold symptoms.
Scurvy is also characterized by spongy, swollen and bleeding gums. Since its cause is a deficiency of vitamin C, the best way to treat it is by supplementing your diet with vitamin C. Lime juice is a great remedy for scurvy as lime is loaded with this essential vitamin.
Fever: Vitamin C, found in high concentrations in citrus fruits like lime, naturally lowers body temperature. If you are suffering from a fever, limes and lime juice can be of great importance. In fact, if the fever is very high, it might be a good idea to restrict your diet to lime juice and water. However, if the fever is mild to moderate, other fruit juices, in addition to lime juice, can be administered in order to bring the fever back a manageable level.
Weight loss: A glass of warm water with a full lime&rsquos worth of juice in it is an excellent weight reducer as well as a brilliant refresher and antioxidant drink. The citric acid present in lime is an excellent fat burner. You can consume two glasses a day and see legitimate and remarkable results within a week. Some people have also got long-lasting weight-loss benefits by just sucking on a wedge of lime half an hour before a meal.
The best part of lime juice it is that it has no negative side effects. So the next time life throws a lemon (lime) at you, make yourself a glass of lime juice.
4. Vegan virgin watermelon margarita
2 cups of diced watermelon
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)
Get fancy: Place a lime or watermelon wedge on the rim of the glass, and salt rim.
Fun Fact: Watermelon seeds are one of the most nutrient-dense seeds, so blend them up with your Frozen Marg!
A New Summer Bummer: Margarita Rash
Adding a slice of lime to your drink is a refreshing way to beat summer heat, but it could hurt your skin, according to dermatologists. The skin damage comes from “margarita rash” (technical term: phytophotodermaitis), which is a chemical reaction triggered by the combination of certain chemicals found in fruits and vegetables and sunlight.
(MORE: The Dangers of Summer)
Nicknamed “the other lime disease,” phytophotodermaitis results in a rash that can look like a sunburn, according to the Mayo Clinic. The skin may also blister and typically turns brown – often for months at a time.
Margarita rash isn’t damaging, though, and it typically goes away on its own.
If you like the play bartender at your outdoor summer gatherings, you might have an elevated risk for the condition thanks to exposure to citrus fruits. The photosensitizing compound is also found in plants such as celery, parsley and even Queen Anne's Lace, so people who frequently run, walk, hike or bike in wooded areas or other wild places where the plants that cause this condition grow also have an elevated risk.
(MORE: The World's Most Poisonous Plants)
The takeaway? Any time you’re outside this summer, apply sunscreen and stay in shaded areas to maintain good skin health. If you do develop a skin rash or discoloration, visit a dermatologist to find out if it’s phytophotodermaitis or something more serious.