A MUM is issuing a warning about eating lollies in the sun after a lime ice pop left her five-year-old son with a large blister on his mouth.
Parents Amy and Matt Parkin-Low were on holiday with their children in Mexico when they saw a splattering of red, angry spots around little Henry’s mouth.
Mum Amy, 32, gave her eldest son Henry a sugar-free lime lolly, before seeing large crusty blisters form on her son’s mouth.
She began to worry after not being able to get in touch with the family doctor from overseas.
Matt, from Tunbridge Wells, said: “At first we thought he’d contracted foot-and-mouth disease.
“But then we noticed that the inflamed, red areas seemed to be only where he’d smeared the ice lolly over his face, and where it had dripped down his arm and splattered on his chest.
Henry was suffering the beginnings of a bizarre condition called phytophotodermatitis triggered by a chemical reaction between sunlight, certain plant chemicals and the skin, reported Daily Mail.
The reaction happens when compounds within the plants called furocoumarins react with UVA light, which visibly damages the skin.
The areas of skin that are covered by the juice turn red and become very itchy, and appear 12 hours after exposure to sunlight.
Amy and Matt took Henry to a local pharmacist near their resort, where they were given antibiotic cream to help treat his breakouts.
What is Phytophotodermatitis?
Phytophotodermatitis is a type of contact dermatitis. The term consists of Phyto: meaning plant, Photo: meaning sunlight, and dermatitis: meaning inflammation of the skin.
In this condition, contact with certain plant chemicals can cause skin inflammation when exposed to sunlight.
The symptoms of phytophotodermatitis can be worrisome, but the condition usually goes away on its own over time.
Aside from round blisters, the patches can also appear in the form of drips and streaks.
Phytophotodermatitis is caused by exposure to furocoumarins, according to Healthline.
This is a type of chemical found on plant surfaces.
The chemical can become activated by UVA rays through the process of photosynthesis.
Once the family was back at home, the doctor prescribed a steroid cream for Henry.
Matt, 35, said: “Henry still has red patches all over his mouth and legs where the lime juice trickled down. He is still sore all over.
“The paediatrician told us that they’d disappear after about two months but I’m not convinced. We’re petrified he’ll be permanently scarred.”