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Meegan Clancy was out drinking with friends on Sydney harbour when someone spilled the cocktail, containing vodka, lime and soda on her foot last October.
The 44-year-old immediately dried off and thought everything was fine, but two days later, her skin began to blister as if she had been burnt by acid.
She was forced to sleep with her foot inside a box to avoid anything touching it because of the pain and the next morning she had to hobble into work and was unable to put on her shoes.
Meegan said: "The issue when the burn comes up is that you don't realise what created it.
"It was quite a lengthy experience. It took three months for it to clear.
"On the Sunday evening, I'd just gone to bed, and I got up to go to the bathroom and I said to my other half 'my foot is really hot and quite sore'.
"I turned on the light and went 'oh, my goodness'. It had swollen up to my knee and it was absolutely burning.
"We'd been in the water over the weekend, and I thought 'maybe there was something in the water'.
"That evening I had to sleep with my foot in a box, so that nothing touched it because it was so sensitive, with a cold icy flannel on it to draw the heat out, with a sheet over the top of the box.
After a visit to A&E medics diagnosed Meegan with photosynthesis dermatitis, though admitted they had no idea what might have caused it, Meegan took to social media where the property manager's friends said she had received a 'margarita burn', an injury often caused by the acid from limes in alcoholic cocktails reacting with the sun.
A margarita burn develops when the skin reacts to plant chemicals, usually found in citrus fruits, when the furocoumarins, a compound found in most citrus fruit, within one of these plants induces a photochemical reaction in the skin when exposed to UVA light.
The exposure then causes damage to the skin cells and while the reaction varies, it can result in irregular-shaped blisters, redness, burning and pain.
Although limes are the biggest culprit, lemons, celery, wild parsnip, parsley and hogweed also contain furocoumarins that could trigger phytophotodermatitis, which is the medical term for margarita burn.
Meegan said: "I'm quite susceptible to sunburn but it almost looked like an acid burn.
"It took three months until the discoloration was completely gone. You have that wine stain, like a birthmark children get, on your foot for months.
"A lot of cocktails have limes in them. It's very common in Mexico and very common for people drinking Coronas with lime."
"The doctor said he didn't know what that is. He had no idea, but thought maybe it was an infection. He told me to take antibiotics and if it hadn't settled down by the morning, to go to the emergency department.
"Then I was sitting in the emergency for six hours and they were asking 'did you step on an oyster shell? Did your dog scratch you or bite you?' I was going through department after department.
"The only thing that gave it away was there was a tiny burn on my other foot. It made it look like there was a splash that had gone over my foot and splashed on to the other foot.
"Finally, they said 'we think it's called contact dermatitis'. It's a reaction, but they couldn't say what the reaction was from."
Now Meegan has explained she will be extra cautious as summer approaches, taking baby wipes with her to avoid finding herself in the agonising situation again.
Meegan said: "With the sensitivity of the raw fresh baby skin I couldn't put it out in the sun. I couldn't wear tight shoes.
"For the swelling to reduce and the foot to peel, it took at least a good month.
"All they said was 'put this cream on, keep it raised, keep it cool and let it be'.
"My foot's pretty normal now. I'm still very cautious when I'm out in the sun because I still think there's a little bit of staining.
"When I'm out this summer I'll be more cautious. I take baby wipes with me now so if something happens, I'll rinse it with water and use a baby wipe."
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