The Doctors share an image of a woman with horrific, large blisters on her legs and you'll never guess what caused them... parsnips! This woman was walking and fell into a wild parsnip plant. A few days later she woke up with second and third-degree burns as well as blisters all over her body. This reaction is known as phytophotodermatitis.
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra breaks it down. "Phyto" stands for plant, "photo" for light, and "dermatitis" is an inflammation of the skin. This reaction is common not just from contact with parsnips but also other fruits and vegetables like lemon, limes, and celery because they all contain a chemical called furocoumarin.
This is a light-sensitizing chemical which creates this very specific rash when exposed to the sun. Initially, there is a red rash phase before it turns brown creating discoloration and a splash-like distribution. Dr. Batra says she warns her patients if they are making margaritas with lemons or limes to wash their hands afterward! Take note, thoroughly wash your hands whenever handling fruits or vegetables, especially if heading outside soon after!