In summer, many mothers often offer refreshing fruits to their children for them to enjoy and eat healthily. Specifically, lemon is one of the options that can be offered to children, since it is a food rich in vitamins and minerals. However, the combination of fruit and sun exposure can be especially dangerous for both children and adults, causing lemongrass burns.
And recently, an Australian mother posted a warning on social media about the danger of this combination. She said her son, Otis, suffered burns to his chest after squeezing a lemon with his cousins at home. However, the problem was not identified until a few days after the event, when the mother saw a spot in the area in the form of a dripping liquid. When he was transferred to the emergency hospital, it was found that the child had suffered severe burns from exposure to sunlight and the effect of lemon on the skin, he also had blisters on his arms.
The woman commented that she did not know that the fruit could cause this type of accident and reinforced the information so that other parents could avoid the same problem. This isn’t the first time moms have reported incidents involving sun and lemon exposure. In November, also in Australia, a woman shared a similar situation on social networks, but with an even more serious outcome: the burns were larger and more serious than those of baby Otis.
But after all, why would a fruit like lemon, which seems harmless, cause this type of burn? Keep reading and understanding.
Lemon Burns: understanding what phytodermatitis is
According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD), “photodermatitis is a skin disease caused by contact with a photosensitive plant and exposure to solar radiation.” The best example is what happened to the little one, that is, the burn caused by the combination of lemon and sun.
Phytophotodermatitis is called phytophotodermatitis when reddish lesions appear linearly (following the path of the juice, for example) after contact with the sap of the plant and exposure to the sun. According to the SBD, these symptoms appear between 24 and 48 hours after the episode. The main signs of a burn are: blisters and red spots that can itch and/or burn. Also, over time, the spots darken instead of lightening.
However, other foods can also cause fungal dermatitis due to the presence of a chemical compound called furocoumarins, such as:
How to Avoid Lemon Burns
Prevention is essential. Thus, the SBD recommends avoiding contact with substances that can cause burns before or during exposure to the sun. It should be noted that even a cloudy day can cause this problem, so avoid it whenever possible. In addition to the risks for children, adults can also suffer from lemon burns through the preparation of caipirinhas, lemon juice, meat seasonings, etc.
However, if lemon cannot be avoided, the contact areas should be washed thoroughly with neutral soap and running water. Finally, it is recommended to avoid places exposed to the sun.
It should be noted that some perfumes contain substances that can also cause skin damage. Therefore, avoid them before going to the beach or the pool.
Treatment of vegetal dermatitis.
A dermatologist should be consulted if symptoms associated with photodermatitis appear. Thus, treatment can follow different paths depending on clinical evaluation. The doctor can benefit from corticosteroids, moisturizing creams and even depigmenting creams, but it all depends on the specialist’s indications.