Burn, baby, burn

You ever have one of those days where you feel like you just can’t win? Well, I’ve had a lot of those lately. You know, well, how do The Rembrandts say it? “Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A…”

And today was one of those days. I’d been feeling pretty bummed already, because everyone and their mother was celebrating the “long weekend,” which, to me, was just another ‘ole three days of work.

But then of course, it’s me we’re talking about, so to add insult to injury, or more accurately, injury to injury, I noticed a scary red patch of skin on my face. Now, I had to go on steroids when I was in high school, because using an everyday, over-the-counter face wash was too harsh on my ridiculously over sensitive skin.

So at first I figured I had another stroke of bad luck. Although even that was hard to pin down, seeing as I couldn’t secure an appointment anywhere, as it seemed every doctor was rushing out the door to get their “long weekend” started as soon as possible.

But finally I found a place that was still open – thank god – where I learned the somewhat shocking truth, that this painful, unsightly annoyance was likely all due to a … lime? Yes, you read that correctly.

Women’s Health does a good job of explaining it here, but basically, it’s this thing called phytophotodermatitis. It’s like a chemical burn – and I’ll save you the nasty photos in this post, you’re welcome – which results from the combination of certain plants and citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and celery… and the sun. Ah, my old enemy, we meet again.

So how it works is when the juices from said plants and fruits make contact with the skin, and aren’t washed off before sun or ultraviolet exposure, there’s a reaction, similar to that of a chemical burn – which of course reminds me of that scene in Fight Club. And to be honest, it kinda looks like that, too… just regrettably not in the shape of Brad Pitt’s famous pout.

via Fox 2000 Pictures

via Fox 2000 Pictures

A few antibiotics are supposed to have me back to normal in about a week or so, but the key to keeping away from phytophotodermatitis is even easier: avoid touching plants like celery or citrus fruits while you’re out in the sun, or be sure to wash with soap and water if you have interacted with any of that stuff.

I realize that, with summer approaching and all, that’s easier said than done. That means avoiding margaritas, bloody marys, and a good ‘ole Corona and lime. Turns out the best drink garnishes for a chill summer cocktail come with a bit of a burn. (Okay, more like a scorch.)

Now you can learn from my pain and I’ll be over here sticking with lemon-less water and a bottle of wine… glass. I meant glass of wine.


Until next time,



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