Careful With Those Limes; Doc Warns of "Mexican Beer Dermatitis"

The condition causes the skin to develop brown spots and discoloration, according to a report in the Archives of Dermatology.

By Daisy Lin
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:44 PM PDT
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Careful With Those Limes; Doc Warns of "Mexican Beer Dermatitis"

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"Mexican Beer Dermatitis" causes the skin to develop brown spots and discoloration, according to a report in the Archives of Dermatology.

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As many of us know, Mexican beers are often served with a slice of lime wedged in the top of the bottle -- the drinker is supposed to shove the lime into the bottle and turn the bottle over to mix it with the beer. It's not an exact art, and often the beer and lime juice mix can splash all over the shirtless poolside drinker.

Although this can seem fun and even flirtatious, as evidenced by the Corona commercials that show attractive people squirting limes at each other, the potential result is an unsightly skin condition.

It's no joke -- the clinical term for the condition is called "Mexican Beer Dermatitis," and it's being reported in the Archives of Dermatology. The skin develops brown spots and discoloration, and it can stay for months.

The culprit is a substance called psoralen, which is present in limes and also lemons. It makes the skin more sensitive to UVA light. According to the report's author, dermatologist Scott Flugman, this happens a lot with people like bartenders who work outdoors with limes.

The best thing to do if you splash some lime or lemon on yourself? Wash it off, or if you are too lazy to get up, throw a towel over it.

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