Food allergies are common among many people, and even infants and children. A food allergy mainly implies a negative bodily reaction upon the consumption of a particular food. Among the various symptoms of food allergies, a skin rash is the most common. Though the sensitivity of each individual (depending on age and general bodily reactions) to different food varies, there are some common allergens that trigger a rash. Here we try to understand the types of foods that can cause an allergic reaction in the form of a rash, certain symptoms that may help you identify the allergen, and the treatment procedure for the same.
Now a skin rash may occur for a variety of reasons, therefore you have to keep a check on the time the skin rash appears for. A rash caused due to food allergy may lead to the symptoms of eczema or dermatitis. Some signs of such a rash are:
- Inflamed skin
- Skin redness
- Itchiness, that causes the skin to thicken after scratching
- Red bumps on different parts of the body
- Dry skin patches
- Swollen hands and feet
- Puffed up eyelids and swelling under eyes
- Swollen tongue
Many people experience such symptoms around the mouth, namely, dry and itchy skin. This may be because, sometimes when you are eating a particular food, its contact with your mouth can cause an immediate reaction and lead to symptoms such as flaking skin and dry patches around the mouth.
Possible Foods Causing the Rash
You may find it difficult to pinpoint the food that causes the rash because the most common allergens are foods that you may consume on a daily basis. Example of such foods are:
- Peanut butter
- Wheat (allergy from gluten)
- Other dairy products
- Yeast (in bread and other baked goods)
- Citrus fruits
- Cinnamon and other spices
Sometimes exotic fruits such as kiwi, and gourmet food such as caviar may also cause a rash due to an allergic reaction.
Rashes in Children and Babies
The most common food allergens may cause rashes in babies too. However, seven particular foods have been identified as the most common culprits for this problem in them.
- Dairy Products
- Tree nuts
- Egg whites
Another interesting finding is that, sometimes the allergens may pass on to babies through breastfeeding. In such a case, the mother should start avoiding certain foods, to be able to narrow down the food causing the allergic reaction in babies. In some cases, the introduction of solid foods may result in the outbreak of skin rashes. Therefore, it is essential that you wait for up to 6 months before introducing solid foods to them. Also, introduce these foods slowly, so you can identify the cause of the allergy. Doing so at the right age may help you prevent the allergies. Also, children may outgrow these allergies over time, however if these occur in adults then they may be permanent unless identified and treated.
Facts about Rash From Food Allergy
There are certain facts that may help you identify food allergens, and choose a suitable treatment for the same. Some of them are:
- A rash may not always show up immediately after consuming the allergen. It may take a day, or three to four days for a rash to manifest.
- If you are allergic to a particular food from a food group, chances are you are likely to develop a skin rash by eating other foods in the same food group. For instance, if you are allergic to milk, then you are also likely to be allergic to cheese.
- As aforementioned, the sensitivity of each person to different food varies. While in some cases the reaction may be a mild skin rash, in others it may be a more severe outbreak of red bumps and itchiness all over the body.
- It is important to note that if a child is allergic to one particular food, the same nutrition should be provided by other different types of foods. The food allergens should not interfere with a child’s nutritional requirements.
- Sometimes, the amount of the allergic food you consume may determine the severity of the reaction. A minimal amount of milk may cause a different reaction than a whole glass of milk.
As the food allergens are among foods that we consume often, it may be difficult to identify the culprit causing the allergy. However, there are still some ways of doing so, along with some tests to understand the cause of the rash.
- Maintain a food diary. If you notice that you are experiencing a rash more often, then maintain the diary for a week, and the symptoms associated with the food you have consumed that day. This way, you will be able to understand when the symptoms were mild and when they were at their peak, depending on the amount of food you have consumed.
- Eliminate one food from your diet at a time. For instance, don’t eat bread for four days, and see if the symptoms reduce. Then avoid milk and see if the effect is the same. This way you will be able to zero in on the food allergen. Reintroduce the suspected foods after some time and see the effect it has on the body.
- Several skin and blood tests are also conducted to pinpoint the cause of the rash. However, these are rarely accurate. Therefore, you should opt for these tests when the elimination procedure does not work.
In rare cases, a rash from a food allergy may be very severe. In such a case, consult your doctor immediately and do not waste time over the elimination of suspected foods or food diaries. Also, if a particular healthy food is keeping you away from your necessary nutritional requirement, ensure you find a similar healthy substitute, after consulting a nutritionist.