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Skin Rash Due to Food Allergy

By Diane Marks ; Updated August 14, 2017

A skin rash is a common symptom of a food allergy. Someone with a food allergy is more prone to develop hives, itchy skin and an eczema flare-up, according to MayoClinic.com. Food allergies primarily affect young children under the age of three and rarely affect adults. If a child suffers from eczema, she may be more prone to developing eczema from a food allergy. Talk with a doctor if a rash develops every time a certain food is consumed.

About Food Allergies

The most common allergic foods are to eggs, milk, soy, wheat, fish and nuts. During an allergic reaction, the immune system malfunctions and reacts to certain proteins in food as if they were harmful substances. The body fights back by producing IgE antibodies, according to MayoClinic.com. The antibodies enter the blood and cause mast cells to produce histamine. Histamine is the chemical responsible for most food allergy symptoms.

Hives

Hives is a common skin rash due to a food allergy. Hives are raised, swollen welts on the skin that appear in clusters with defined borders, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Hives form as the result of increased levels of histamine near the surface of the skin. The rash is severely itchy and can spread to anywhere on the body in a matter of minutes. Hives that form in the throat or the ears are concerning, as they could cause greater complications.

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Eczema

MedlinePlus defines eczema as a hypersensitivity in the skin that has various triggers that can cause the skin to react. Eczema is common in children and is typically outgrown by adulthood. The rash begins as small, red bumps that form into blisters that can fill up with liquid and burst, leading to oozing. If scratched, eczema can leave permanent scaring and leathery skin.

Treatment

Treat a food allergy first by identifying the foods that are triggering the allergy. Talk with an allergist about participating in allergy testing. Avoid consuming foods that cause the body to react with an allergic responds. Treat hives and eczema with over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams or prescribed corticosteroid lotions, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Moisturize the skin to keep it supple and protected.

Consideration

If the patient suffers from eczema, food may not be the only trigger for the skin rash condition. Other triggers may include airborne allergens, such as pollen, stress, contact with certain metals, being too hot or cold and tight-fitted clothing, according to MedlinePlus.

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