“It was my own damn fault. But every yogi that I’ve talked to has no clue that this could have happened.”
This is Elise Nguyen of Wisconsin, and she has a PSA for anyone who likes essential oils and the sun.
Her Facebook post on the topic has already been shared over 139,000 times since she posted it on April 16.
This is what happened to her neck and wrists after applying wild orange doTERRA essential oil on the same day she went tanning.
"I used a little bit of orange doTERRA oil right before [yoga] class to help calm me down," Nguyen told BuzzFeed Health. "And then after the class I honestly didn’t think anything of it and went tanning because I was going to a wedding in Jamaica.
About 24 hours later, she noticed what looked like hives. Her husband returned a new laundry detergent they just bought, thinking that might be the culprit.
But the reaction continued to get worse throughout the day, and by the following day she had blisters. Her friend mentioned that it looked like a chemical burn from oils, and that's when it all clicked.
Nguyen went to her primary care doctor, who confirmed that it was most likely a chemical burn.
This kind of chemical burn can happen when the oil from certain plants gets on your skin and reacts with UV rays — whether from the sun or from a tanning bed.
It's called phytophotodermatisis, and it's often caused by the oils from citrus fruits, though it can also be caused by other plants.
"It doesn't have to be in essential oil formulation," dermatologist Dr. Diane Madfes, associate clinical professor at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, told BuzzFeed Health. "It can just be the regular citrus — lemons, limes, and oranges."
So, yes, it can also be a painful result of enjoying citrus deliciousness outside, which is why it's sometimes referred to as "margarita dermatitis."
And the sweat from the yoga class probably didn't help, said Madfes.
Normally when you sweat, those salty drops eventually evaporate. "When using essential oils on top, you’re actually making a seal," said Madfes. "That may also be irritating to the skin."