The Urgent Care doc did provide me with some anti-bacterial moisturizing cream, which was I believe called Bacitracin, but I don't know if it was to help with the inflammation. I have been really good about applying this twice a day and keeping my hands covered, so none of my blisters ever ruptured. They have finally all gone down, and now the burned layers are becoming a bit leathery and starting to crack a bit. I'm sure some of that fried dead skin (eew) will start to slough off in the next several days. At least that means I'm healing! View Thread
As I sit here typing, my hands are bandaged as a result of the same thing.
I just returned from a week in Turks & Caicos. As a redhead who loves the ocean, beach, and water activities, I have sunscreen application down to a science. Each day while there, I diligently slathered on the SPF 100 sunblock (and my friend, who is also a redhead, took great care to ensure my back was covered as well). One afternoon, we decided to walk to the local beach. After lubing up with our block and donning our swimsuits, we decided to make a couple of margaritas to take with us. I spent a good 5-10 minutes squeezing some limes into our cocktails (they were very hard limes) and then we were off. That night, all seemed great - no sign of a burn! I was quite proud of myself for taking such care to protect my skin.
Then comes the next day. My entire thumb on one hand, and various other small areas across my knuckles on the other are red, burning, and in pain. I figure, "Crap, I must have missed some spots."
The next day, a blister appears on said thumb. As the day progresses, more mini-blisters appear down the rest of that digit, and intense pain and swelling occurs on the middle finger of my other hand, as well as that thumb too. I start Googling "second degree sunburn" to confirm that's what I have (I also Googled "jellyfish sting" to hopefully cancel that out), and upon reading descriptions and seeing (not-so-pretty) photos of burns, it was confirmed. I am baffled at how I could have missed these strange areas of my hands, but been completely fine everywhere else. I follow everyone's advice NOT to pierce and drain any blisters, but to just periodically soothe the burn by running cool water down my hand to take the heat away (also avoiding icing it, per the Internet's advice).
Cut to the last day: the main blister has noticeably increased in size, the swelling is worse than before, and even more little blisters have appeared. Bending my fingers or touching them at all is very painful. Reading article after article in the local magazines about "a burn is a burn; go to the doctor", I finally acquiesce and my friends cart me to the local urgent care for an inspection. The doc seems baffled by the random areas of burn as well, but then the nurse, pondering, finally asks, "Did you by chance happen to squeeze any lemons or limes?" I tell her of my margarita making, and she proceeds to inform me of this "phytophotodermatitis" phenomenon, and a lightbulb above the doc's head appears as he regales me with stories of "Club Med Dermatitis" (it apparently used to occur when Club Med goers would participate in a game wherein you held a lime between your knees and tried to pass it to the next person, who had to grab it with their knees and nothing else). A day later, these people all had red rashes along their inner thighs -- a result of the lime juice and assumed sunlight that inevitably caused the photosensitivity and produced a burn. At this point, I'm quite impressed with Miss Nurse's brilliant medical detective skills.
WHO KNEW about this?? I'd never heard of such a thing. But now that I know, I will certainly take great care to squeeze my limes, wash hands thoroughly, and THEN put on my sunblock before hitting the beach. Or better yet, have the bartender make it for me instead.
It's now been 7 days since my ill-fated margarita mixology, and my hands are still warm to the touch, still blistered, and wrapped. Although with the treatment of anti-bacterial/moisturizing cream and gauze, the blisters are indeed finally shrinking down, and the swelling is almost entirely gone. The doc said to expect them to be present for about 10 days.
Lesson learned! Spread the word to your friends so it doesn't happen to them!View Thread