By Josh Saunders
A father who suffered second degree burns after making graduation party food was shocked to discover LIME JUICE was to blame for his horrific wounds.
Adam Levy, 52, was diagnosed with photodermatisis – a toxic reaction to sunlight and citric acid – after his hands broke out in blisters and swelled to four times the size.
The father-of-two from Minneapolis in Minnesota, USA, also suffered with dizziness and nausea and needed hospital treatment, where he was medicated with an IV of steroids and antihistamines.
When the blister expanded to two-inch-in-diameter, Adam had the wound lanced and bandaged to prevent infection and is now recovering.
Adam, a singer-songwriter for The Honeydogs, said: “I noticed I had some sunburn on my hand and thought it was odd.
“It started off as a small blistering and turned into this really large, lymph-filled blister that was the size of half a peach, it felt like a little being or an animal was growing on my hand.
“The skin was really tight and it went from a stinging, burning sensation to itching all around the edges of it.
“The next day it was blistering and it seemed like I was having an allergic reaction, as well as feeling dizzy, nauseated and my tongue swelling.
“Before going to hospital, I Googled my symptoms and remembered I had been squeezing a bunch of limes for my daughter’s graduation and hadn’t washed off the juice.
“The blistering was exactly where the lime juice droplets would have touched my skin while I was squeezing them out.
“I found out about photodermatitis and have been documenting its growth since then to warn others.
“I’d never heard of this before, I have sensitive skin so have allergic reactions but nothing so severe and unusual.
“You think of citrus being one of the healthiest things in the world, not that it’s capable of creating a toxic burn.”
Two days after his exposure he went to hospital, where he was put on an IV drip of steroids and had antihistamine medication to reduce the swelling, before later having it lanced.
Adam said: “When I had it lanced, it was almost two-inches in diameter and released a tablespoon and a half of lymph fluid.
“I’m relieved now, but I am having to be really careful around it, my hand is functioning a little better and I know eventually it will heal up.”
Adam is now sharing his experiences to warn others about the risks of photodermatitis.
He added: “Americans love making margaritas in the sun, so hopefully this is a cautionary tale for others to be really careful.
“I would advise others, if you’re using citrus at all and you’re going to be in the sun wash it off your hands completely.
“It’s possible to squeeze limes with a squeezer too, that way you can fully avoid coming into contact with the juice when outside.”
Photodermatitis is an extreme burn brought on by sensitive chemicals in certain plants and fruits being exposed to sunlight.
It can bring about symptoms similar to an allergic reaction, including a burning sensation, blistering, swelling and difficulty breathing.
Mayo Clinic described the condition: “The chemicals that cause phytophotodermatitis are found most commonly in wild parsnip, wild dill, wild parsley, buttercups and citrus fruits, especially limes.
“When these chemicals get on your skin and then are exposed to ultraviolet light, a chemical reaction occurs that often looks like a sunburn, or it may develop as a red, itchy patch, similar to eczema – the skin may also blister.
“To prevent phytophotodermatitis, wash your hands after handling any citrus fruits, particularly limes.”
To follow Adam’s music visit: www.thehoneydogs.bandcamp.com or www.facebook.com/AdamLevyOfficial