How 'Margarita Burn' Left a Little Girl Covered in Burns and Blisters

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Sabrina Miller couldn't understand what was happening to her daughter, Kaleigh, when horrific burns and blisters began appearing on her skin. 

"She's like, 'Why is this happening to me?'" Sabrina told Inside Edition. 

The mom had applied copious amounts of sunscreen on Kaleigh before she went outside to play in the sun, so she was shocked by what happened.

"I was just kind of traumatized, I was like, crying my eyes out, [wondering], 'What is going on with her?'" Sabrina said. 

She's not alone. As it turned out, Kaleigh had suffered what's known as "margarita burn," a skin condition that develops when certain chemicals that are often found in citrus fruits like limes cause increase sun sensitivity. 

Pharmacy technician Elinda Xavier said she sustained second-degree burns when she went out in the sun after marking margaritas. 

"I didn't know that it was called margarita burn, which is hilarious because that's exactly what I was making," she told Inside Edition.

The pain was unbearable.

"If you've ever scalded your hands under hot water or under steam or anything like that, that's what it felt like for a constant [day]," she said.

Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day explained why limes can cause such an extreme reaction to the sun. They contain "an ingredient that is a photosensitizer," she said. "That makes your skin way more sensitive to the sun."

It's not just limes, either. Celery, parsley and fennel can also cause margarita burn. And once you've been exposed, there's not much you can do save for get out of the sun.

"Once it's activated, it takes 24 hours to deactivate on the skin and so washing your hands or washing your body at that point doesn't make that much difference," Day said. 

Fortunately, Kaleigh is doing much better and doctors said they don't think she will scar. 

As for Xavier, she said that while the margaritas she made were tasty, she'll probably be avoiding mixing the beverage and time in the sun in the future.

"I've learned my lesson," she said.

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