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“Spring Sun Safety: Beware the ‘Margarita Rash'”

As the warmer spring months approach and patio season begins, dermatologists are urging sun lovers to take extra precautions when mixing cocktails or snacking on fresh fruits in the sun. Handling certain foods like citrus and then soaking up the rays could lead to an uncomfortable condition called “margarita rash”.

Doctors are seeing an increase in cases of photocontact dermatitis, sometimes referred to as the “margarita rash”, a sun sensitivity reaction caused by contact with certain plants and foods followed by sun exposure. Limes, in particular, seem to be a common culprit, often when enjoying lime-filled cocktails on a hot day. However, other citrus like lemons as well as plants such as figs, hogweed and St. John's wort have also been linked to the painful skin eruption.

The itchy, blistering rash develops on areas that came into contact with the sensitizing items and were then exposed to UVA rays from the sun. Signs usually appear hours to days after the incident, presenting in a tell-tale pattern reflecting where the juice or plant touched the skin. While most cases clear up within days with avoidance of further exposure, some patients struggle with stubborn, long-term marks. In rare severe cases, medical attention may even be needed.

Dermatologists warn that no skin type is immune, despite common misconceptions that only fair individuals are at risk. All ages and skin tones can fall victim to the fiesty effects of plant compounds activated by the sun's rays. So whether whipping up margaritas poolside or indulging in fresh citrus dishes, slather on sunscreen, cover up with a towel or seek shade if staying out long to steer clear of the uncomfortable “margarita rash”. With a little spring sun safety smarts, patio season plans need not be ruined by an itchy reminder of summer's start.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.
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