Terry is troubled: After vacationing in Cancun, my roommate told me that doing tequila body shots can leave you with scars. Is this true? The Right Brain pours salt on the wound:
I don’t know about your roommate, but after one too many tequila shooters, I have seen our fellow Beauty Brain Sarah Bellum wake up with some unexplained marks on her body. But that’s a story for another time…
The condition you’re referring to is technically known as “phytophotodermatitis.” That’s just a multi-syllabic way of describing a particular type of skin irritation caused by plant extracts that make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
Darn those limes!
For those of you who don’t know, doing a “body shot” involves drinking a shot of tequila off of someone’s bare midriff (or another body part of your choosing) and typically one or more lime wedges are involved. The citrus compounds in the lime oil can make the skin more reactive to UV light. So, an evening of body shooters at the cabana followed by a day of sunbathing at the beach can result in a poison ivy-like rash. Not only is this condition itchy and painful but it can discolor your skin, leaving scar-like marks.
This condition is so common among tropical party-goers that doctors actually have a special term for it: ‘margarita dermatitis.’ (We’re not making this up.)
But what about parsley?
Limes aren’t the only photosensitizing culprit. Similar compounds are found in plants like celery and parsley. I asked Sarah how she felt about that and she told me she REFUSES to consider the possibility of doing parsley body shots. I guess a girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere!