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Allergy to Lime

By Diane Marks

An allergy to lime triggers symptoms similar to those seen with a citrus allergy, the ImmunoCAP website explains. Ingesting lime products or touching any part of a lime can cause skin reactions in those allergic to the fruit. If a rash develops, visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment approach. Avoiding limes and products containing lime by-products is considered the best way to manage a lime allergy.

About Food Allergies

A food allergy occurs when your immune system mistakes certain proteins from specific foods as hazardous substances, according to the Cleveland Clinic. When you eat lime, the immune system attacks it by unleashing antibodies. These antibodies instructs your mast cells to create histamine. High levels of histamine cause tissue irritation in the sinuses, the lungs and on the skin. Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe and may be life-threatening.

Effect: Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a common effect of a lime allergy. This allergic skin condition commonly appears within one to three days of contact with lime by-products. It is typically found on the feet and hands and is considered more painful than itchy. Inflammation and redness in the skin is the most common visual symptom. If scratched, the skin can crack and become vulnerable to a secondary infection. According to the Chennaionline website, cold soaks and cold compresses can help alleviate the pain and redness.

Effect: Contact Urticaria

Contact urticaria, or hives, is a flat, red rash that develops after the skin comes into contact with lime. Hives are extremely itchy and grow in patches with distinctive borders. Hives can develop and disappear for no apparent reason, the Mayo Clinic explains. Hives are treated with oral antihistamines, hydrocortisone or prescribed corticosteroids. Antihistamines prevent the body from producing histamine, while hydrocortisone and corticosteroids reduce skin inflammation and alleviate the itch.

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms of a lime allergy may include those common to other food allergies, such as nasal congestion, breathing complications and eye irritation. Nasal congestion can lead to sinus pain, postnasal drip or a runny nose. Breathing complications may produce shortness of breathe, wheezing and coughing. The eyes can become watery and red.

Warning

A severe allergic reaction to limes can cause anaphylactic shock, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the entire body experiences an allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical attention if, after eating limes, you develop swelling in the lips, a faint pulse or feel lightheaded.

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