Woman Says Squeezing Limes, Sun Caused Serious Blisters on Her Hands

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
July 9, 2019 Updated: July 9, 2019

A 34-year-old Canadian woman is cautioning others before they decide to make margaritas during the summer.

Amber Prepchuk, of Edmonton, Alberta, went to Wizard Lake before she squeezed limes by hand for the drink, Fox News reported.

The woman said she washed her hands off before she “continued on with the day in the sunshine,” according to Fox.

The next day, she noticed that her hands appeared sunburned. Two days later, Prepchuk said she had “excruciating” pain.

“I woke with blisters forming in between my fingers and on the tops of my hands,” she added.

Prepchuk said she went to the burn clinic at the University of Alberta Hospital, and a doctor made note of the injury.

“He almost dismissed me when I told him that the only thing that I could think of was the limes that I had squeezed two days prior,” she claimed. Her boyfriend then researched lime burns, coming across information on phytophotodermatitis, known as “margarita burns.”

She added to Fox that her burns were placed in gauze and burn cream before it was wrapped in another type of glove.

Prepchuk, a haidresser, said the pain she felt “was something I had never experienced before.”

“It’s almost overwhelming because it’s not like you just accidentally burned part of your hand on the oven or the stove or something,” she said, adding that it felt like “being cooked from the inside out.”

“I can handle pain, but I woke the next morning and I was in pain. I was crying my eyes out,” she told the CBC. “I was covered in little blisters.”

“It was tear-inducing,” she added. “Being sunburnt is one thing, but being mild second-degree burned is a whole other sensation.”

University of Alberta professor Dr. Jaggi Rao told the CBC that he sees patients with the condition at least once per week.

“It’s actually super common,” Rao said. “It’s not just due to limes, but what we call furocoumarins.”

The chemical is found in a number of fruits and vegetables, including lemons, limes, celery, parsley, and parsnip.

“By itself, it doesn’t cause any problems, but when you have high-intensity UV light it will release oxygen radicals that cause an eczema to occur,” he said.

He said it rarely leaves people with permanent scarring.

“I see it almost every other day,” he said. “Usually people come back from vacation, from a trip to Mexico, or I see it in grocers.”

Prepchuk said she is now warning others to avoid “squeezing limes with your bare hands and then going into the sunshine.”

“Gloves, lime squeezers, and a good washing of the hands with hot, soapy water,” she told Fox.

3-Year-Old Gets It

The mother of a 3-year-old said she was left “traumatized” when horrific burns appeared on her daughter’s skin in a condition known as “margarita burn.”

Sabrina Miller wrote in a post on Facebook that after an early June weekend of camping, swimming, “being in the sun” and “eating limes at the lake,” her daughter “woke up with what appeared to be a severe sunburn in weird shapes on her face.”

Miller said she took her daughter to a dermatologist, who also thought the strange shapes were just a bad sunburn and sent the girl home with a lightweight lotion to soothe the burns.

But the next morning Miller was horrified to find that her daughter’s face broke out in blisters reminiscent of 2nd-degree burns.

“She’s like, ‘Why is this happening to me?’” Miller said, according to Inside Edition.

Epoch Times reporter Tom Ozimek contributed to this article.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.