Woman suffers horrific 'margarita burns' after spilling a cocktail on her foot

Holiday injuries can be common – whether it’s slipping on the side of the pool, or a nasty encounter with a jelly fish.

And while sunburn might be expected after a week of basking, you probably wouldn’t expect to suffer burns caused by your favourite tipple.

Meegan Clancy has revealed the horrific ‘margarita burns’ she experienced after a cocktail was spilled over her on a boat trip – and the lime reacted in the sunlight to burn the flesh from her foot.

Meegan was out drinking with friends on Sydney harbour when another reveller spilled a vodka, lime and soda on her foot last October.

The 44-year-old immediately dried herself off and thought nothing of it, but two days later, her skin began to blister as if she had ‘acid burns’.

‘That evening I had to sleep with my foot in a box, so that nothing touched it because it was so sensitive, with a cold icy flannel on it to draw the heat out, with a sheet over the top of the box,’ says Meegan.

The following morning, she hobbled into work but was unable to put on her shoes.

The pain was bad enough to send Meegan to A&E, where medics diagnosed her with photosynthesis dermatitis – but at that time they had no idea what might have caused it.

Baffled by her mystery reaction, the property manager posted pictures of her blistered skin on social media, where friends suggested she could have ‘margarita burn’, an injury caused by the acid from limes in alcoholic cocktails reacting with the sun.

Meegan, who’s from Sydney, Australia, called the painful skin reaction ‘dramatically ugly.’

‘My calves were the size of my thighs. It was nasty,’ she says. ‘I’m quite susceptible to sunburn but it almost looked like an acid burn.

‘It took three months until the discoloration was completely gone. You have that wine stain, like a birthmark children get, on your foot for months.

‘A lot of cocktails have limes in them. It’s very common in Mexico and very common for people drinking Coronas with lime.’

Meegan went to bed the night after her drinks with friends and complained her foot was ‘really hot and quite sore’.

‘The issue when the burn comes up is that you don’t realise what created it. I turned on the light and went “oh, my goodness”. It had swollen up to my knee and it was absolutely burning.’

‘We had been in the water over the weekend, and I thought maybe there was something in the water.

Her trip to the hospital was drawn out as different doctors struggle to pin down the cause of the excruciating burn.

‘ I was sitting in the emergency for six hours and they were asking, “did you step on an oyster shell? Did your dog scratch you or bite you?” says Meegann. ‘I was going through department after department.

‘The only thing that gave it away was there was a tiny burn on my other foot. It made it look like there was a splash that had gone over my foot and splashed on to the other foot.

‘Finally, they said “we think it’s called contact dermatitis”. It’s a reaction, but they couldn’t say what the reaction was from.’

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