Cocktails by the pool? Beware of citrus burns

By Sarah Mayberry, M.P.H., Local 4 Health Producer, @4goodhealth
Published On: Jul 05 2013 05:18:38 PM EDT
Cocktail on the beach

picdee/SXC

Planning to sip a summer drink outside?  Watch out for the citrus juice.

Doctors warn this is the season for citrus burns, also known as "margarita dermatitis" or "bartender dermatitis."  The names may sound silly, but the symptoms can be quite serious.

Here's the problem -- squeezing limes, lemons or other citrus fruits into drinks leaves behind a residue on the skin.  That residue can be activated by the sun and cause burns, blisters, swelling or a rash.  In some cases, the injuries can be quite painful.

Doctors say the problem is most common in bartenders who prepare drinks outside, but they also see cases in people enjoying cocktails on vacation or outdoors in the summer months.

Washing off the citrus juice with soap and water will prevent the problem.

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