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Sunbather: Lime juice led to severe burn

By Jon Erickson
Published On: Jul 11 2012 05:31:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 12 2012 12:52:42 PM CDT
CRAVEN COUNTY -

An afternoon in the summer sun, including a beer spiked with lime juice, turned into two weeks hiding from the sun for a local woman.

Amy Salter of Craven County wanted to clink a Corona with her husband as a cheers to their 30th wedding anniversary.  She bit into a lime and poured some of the fruit’s juice into the beers because she didn’t have a knife.  That lime juice got on Salter’s chin, chest, and right arm.

She thought nothing of it, and swam and sunbathed with her husband.  About 24 hours later, she developed burns in the same areas where the lime juice had dripped.

“My chin… was peeling off,” Salter said.

What she didn’t know, but soon found out, is that lime juice on the skin can make that skin extremely sensitive to sunlight.

The lime juice was like a “magnifying glass for the sun,” Salter said.

She suffered the equivalent of second-degree chemical burns.

“The burn almost feels like it goes down into the bone,” she said.

Salter is now advising anyone who will listen that lime juice must be washed off the skin before exposure to sun.  She’s even asking the makers of Corona to reconsider their commercials; one spot shows a woman squirting a lime onto a man’s face as they sit along the beach.  Based on Salter’s experience, that man’s face would be ridden with blisters about 24 hours after such exposure.

The rash happens when a plant compound in the lime comes into contact with the skin, and the skin is exposed to the sun. Some doctors have referred to the condition as "Margarita Dermatitis." It can cause swelling, burning and even blistering.