Putting Lime In Your Beer Might Be A Really Bad Idea


Limes in beer bottle tops in an ice bucket. Photo: George Coppock (Getty)

It’s summertime, and what better way to beat the heat than hitting the pool to throw down a few ice cold beers? Yeah, it sounds cliché, but is it really when it’s a genuinely enjoyable experience millions of people are doing?

Those same millions of beer drinkers have probably chugged some lagers and stuck limes in them. You see it in Corona ads all the time. But as it turns out, stuffing the lime can result in some pretty gnarly skin irritations. It might be wise to second-guess ever doing it again.

Have you ever heard of phytophotodermatitis? (Kudos if you pronounce it correctly on your first try.) Neither had we, but apparently it’s a serious skin condition that makes your hand look like you shoved it in a boiling pot for 60 seconds. Truly nasty stuff, y’all.

While lyme disease is what you typically hear about during summer months, beer drinkers should also be aware of “lime disease.” According to the video below, dermatologist Dr. Barry D. Goldman sees this kind of thing almost every day. Better you than me, Dr. B.

Phytophotodermatitis happens when you squeeze the juice out of a lime in direct contact with UV rays from the sun. It’s a chemical reaction leading to skin irritation and, ultimately, your summer being irritating.

“The symptoms come a couple days after exposure and can be mild or quite severe,” says the pleasant lady in the video. “Most commonly, you’ll get two days to a week of redness or blistering, and then a brown mark that’ll take months to fade.”

We know what you’re thinking: “Oh no, now I can’t have a lime in my beer and life sucks and just cancel summer and everything else.” Don’t get so dramatic, folks. You can still add lime to your beer as long as you’re not doing it in direct sunlight. Stuffing your Modelo with lime while indoors drastically decreases the chances of suffering from this ugly-looking condition. So go inside to get your lime-beer combo, then come back out to the pool and drunkenly sip on that carbonated goodness.



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