Lemon damage to the skin: irritation, burns and more

The topical application of lemon on the skin can sometimes have serious consequences, so what are the damages of lemon to the skin? Here's the full list for you to know and be careful.

Some may recommend the topical use  of lemon  to treat some skin problems, but what may seem like a magic solution to some may in fact be a recipe for disastrous results for others, so let us learn about the damage of lemon to the skin:

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Lemon damage to the skin 

Here is a list of them:

1. Dry skin 

Lemon juice has astringent properties, so applying it topically to the skin in moderation can help rid the skin of excess sebum. Although this benefit may benefit the skin by protecting it from excessive build-up of natural oils and fats, it is a double-edged sword. 

Excessive use of lemon juice on the skin can strip the skin of its natural oils in an unhealthy way, which may lead  to dry skin , and this dryness may appear in the form of rough skin patches. 

2. Skin irritation 

The topical application of lemon to the skin can lead to skin irritation, and this type of potential damage to the skin by lemon is attributed to the acidic nature of lemon. While the pH of the skin ranges between 4.5 - 5.5, the pH of natural lemon juice is approximately 2.  

In other words, there is a big difference between the acidity of lemon and the skin, which may make lemon an irritant, and this irritation may appear in the form of various symptoms, such as: 

  • a stinging feeling  
  • Skin redness .  
  • Peeling of the epidermis. 
  • Contact dermatitis, which is an itchy rash. 

Skin irritation is one of the most common lemon damage to the skin. The severity of the irritation may vary from one case to another, but this may reach its maximum specifically if the person has sensitive skin.

3. Sunburns and chemical burns

The potential damage of lemon to the skin is not limited to dryness and irritation, but the lemon may cause more serious complications. The topical application of lemon to the skin may increase the sensitivity of the skin to the sun, which may make you more susceptible to  sunburn,  especially if you are fair-skinned. 

Exposure to the sun during the day while lemon juice is on the skin can also cause severe and painful chemical burns.

4. Phytophotodermatitis

One of the possible damages of lemon to the skin is that the topical application of lemon to the skin may stimulate a case of phytophotodermatitis, especially when exposing the skin to the sun while the lemon is on it, and this condition appears in the form of a sharp, dark-colored rash.

Lemon juice contains furocoumarins, and although these compounds may be safe in natural conditions, their interaction with sunlight may make them harmful compounds, as this interaction can cause damage to the DNA of cells and skin infections, For symptoms such as: 

  • skin redness
  • swelling of the epidermis 
  • Sores or  blisters  on the skin.
  • Pains and burns. 

This condition can leave scars on the skin.

5. Vitiligo (Leukoderma)

Although lightening skin tone may be a desirable effect for some, lemon may cause skin lightening that is unhealthy for the skin. Applying lemon topically to the skin may trigger a skin condition known as leucorrhea or vitiligo.   

Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin begins to lose part of  the melanin pigment , which may lead to the appearance of light-colored spots on separate areas of the skin. 

6. Dark spots

Although lemon is known for its potential skin lightening ability, in certain cases it may cause the opposite effect and make dark spots worse, so caution should be taken when applying it to the skin by people whose skin is prone to developing spots and scars after healing from pimples or cuts. 

How can lemon damage to the skin be avoided? 

In an attempt to avoid the damages mentioned above, it is preferable to apply the following recommendations: 

  • Avoid using lemon completely by those with sensitive skin, dark-skinned people, and those with severe and deep pimples. 
  • Make sure to use  sunscreen  without neglecting it throughout the period of using natural lemon recipes.
  • Avoid using lemon on the skin for several days in a row if you are planning a fun daytime activity with the family soon.
  • Trying to always apply lemon to the skin at night, and the need to wash the face well from lemon masks before going out and exposure to the sun. 
  • Avoid leaving the lemon on the skin for more than a few minutes, and avoid sleeping without washing the skin from the lemon.
  • Sufficiently apply  lemon masks  at spaced intervals and a few times a month, and avoid using them daily.
  • Always try to mix lemon with other natural ingredients to reduce its intensity as much as possible. 
  • It is necessary to stop using lemon masks in the event of skin irritation, and to be careful to communicate with the doctor if the complications of lemon continue to accompany the skin for a long time without improvement.

Benefits of lemon for the skin 

After we have touched on the damage of lemon to the skin, we also have to touch on the positive aspect of lemon, as the topical application of lemon in a correct and safe way and by groups that are less susceptible to lemon damage may help in the following:

  • Gently exfoliate the skin, and lighten different skin pigmentation, such as  freckles .
  • Skin nourishment, hydration and anti-drying.
  • Reducing sebum production in the skin, and relieving acne. 
  • Reducing itching and irritation associated with some skin diseases, such as: eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.  
  • Slowing down the emergence and appearance of various signs of aging on the skin, such as  wrinkles .
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