May 16, 2023

Baby left with red raw mouth from celery sticks as mum issues urgent warning

WARNING UPSETTING IMAGES: Mum Reanna Bendzak, from Kamloops in British Columbia, Canada, found that her daughter had suffered phytophotodermatitis, commonly known as "margarita burns", which left red raw blisters around her mouth

A distraught mum has issued an urgent warning after her daughter sustained red raw burns around her mouth after eating a celery stick.

Reanna Bendzak from Kamloops in British Columbia, Canada, decided to give her seven-month-old little girl the common veggie snack to offer her some relief from teething while basking in the sun earlier this year.

But after she did, the tot started breaking out in a rash of blisters.

Reanna uploaded the shocking pictures on to social media after the break out in mid-March.

Speaking to CBC, she said: "She held it for five to 10 minutes [and] we were outside for the rest of the afternoon, and the next morning we woke up, she had a bit of a teething rash around her mouth… later that day, it developed blisters."

"It was second-degree burns all around her mouth — it had intense swelling, as well, which, of course, makes it difficult [for her] to eat or nurse."

Medics later told her that the child suffered phytophotodermatitis, which is also known as "margarita burns".

It happens when the sap from certain plants, like carrots, celery and limes, gets on the skin and is then exposed to sunlight.

The compounds that cause the condition are furanocoumarins, which react to UVA ultraviolet rays.

There are other lesser known plants that also cause the irritation, including peppers, figs, mustard, parsley and parsnips.

According to doctors, the burns are different from allergic reactions and often take around 48 hours to become visible.

After the incident, Reanna experimented by putting celery juice on their arms and sitting out in the sun. Within 30 hours, they also had rashes.

Their daughter has mostly healed up but still has some scarring that will need treatment.

Dr Joseph Lam, a pediatric dermatologist working in Vancouver, says that people shouldn't worry too much about the condition causing hyperpigmentation, like in the little girl's case.

"If you are unfortunate enough to have this reaction, the pigmentation left on the skin can last for weeks and weeks, but it will go away," he said.

Dermatologists have urged caution, telling people to avoid the problem food while in sunlight.

Last year, a woman suffered horror "margarita burns" while making cocktails after the lime juice spilt on her and reacted with the bright sunshine.

Ashleigh Booth decided to make cocktails after being forced to self-isolate with her family at home in Byron Bay, Australia, when they all tested positive for Covid last month.

The 23-year-old whipped up strawberry daiquiris and margaritas for her mum, sister and their partners - while the others splashed in the pool.

She used fresh limes to give the margaritas their signature taste.

But tragically she was unaware of the injuries that were bubbling up in her skin and trainee teacher Ashleigh went to bed as usual.

It was only the following day that Ashleigh woke up with throbbing, swollen hands after suffering severe second-degree burns.

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