Summer is mostly here (although the sun is being pretty shy) and that means endless weekends spent sunning ourselves in the garden/park/anywhere that's not inside with an alcoholic beverage in hand. More specifically, the fruity-cocktail sort. But hold that thought 'cos there's a scary health risk sweeping Instagram rn and it could happen to you.
Aforementioned health risk is called photophytodermatitis and it's freaking us out as it's caused by the sunshine and one of our favourite cocktail ingredients. And we love both in equal measures. Basically, it's a condition caused when lime juice on the skin comes into contact with UV light (which the sun is full of) and the result is some pretty nasty burns that could blister.
People who have fallen victim to the schoolboy error are sharing their injuries using the hashtag #margaritaburns on Instagram to help raise awareness of the little-known risk associated with drinking cocktails in the sun. Kudos to them, because lime juice (from the fruit and the bottle) is of course a vital ingredient of many signature cocktails; margaritas, mojitos, cosmopolitans - even a Corona isn't complete without a slice of lime. We'll definitely be extra careful from now on.
Check out these serious cases (warning: not for the squeamish)
The redness shown here is a form of hyperpigmentation, but unfortunately this condition isn't like your average sunburn, which (depending on how bad it is) can fade over a few days and can be cooled with aloe and aftersun. Oh no, margerita burn is fifty shades of ouch. It can last weeks or even months if the blistering spreads.
The best way to avoid it is to thoroughly wash your hands, and any other part of your body which have may have been splashed with lime juice whilst you were doing your best mixologist impression, particularly if you're in a bikini at the time.
I'm sure we don't have to tell you but remember to slather yourself in SPF while out in the sun too, and top it up regularly. It may not protect you from #margaritaburn but it will prevent you from getting sunburnt and that's never a good look.
Make ours a vodka and soda, we'll skip the lime this time round!
Have you ever been affected by margarita burn? Let us know @SofeminineUK!