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Almost 7 million Americans suffer from a fish allergy, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network 123. A skin rash resulting from touching or eating salmon fish oil is a sign of an allergic reaction to the proteins found in salmon. Some of the most common fish that cause an allergic skin rash are salmon, cod, tuna, bass, sardines, trout and swordfish, according to Beyond Allergy 1. A severe allergic reaction to salmon fish oil can lead to anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening allergic condition. Talk with an allergist if you suspect you have a salmon allergy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a salmon fish oil allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to the proteins found in salmon 12. The protein enters the body and is mistaken by the immune system as a dangerous substance, such as a virus and builds a resistance to the salmon protein. Antibodies are formed to fight off the proteins, which trigger histamine production in mast cells. Histamine is a chemical in the body that causes inflammation in soft tissue, such as the sinuses, the lungs and the skin.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, a salmon fish oil allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to the proteins found in salmon 1.
- The protein enters the body and is mistaken by the immune system as a dangerous substance, such as a virus and builds a resistance to the salmon protein.
Skin Rash Symptoms
Salmon & Skin Rash
Skin rash symptoms from a salmon fish oil allergy are inflammation in the skin, swelling, irritation and itching 1. Hives develop within a few minutes after consuming salmon, according to Beyond Allergy 1. Hives form in patches of skin and causes raised welts to appear that are flat and clustered. Another common rash that develops is eczema, forming small, red blisters that can weep and crust over. Eczema also forms patches of dry skin that appears leathery. Contact dermatitis may occur after the individual touches salmon fish oil.
- Skin rash symptoms from a salmon fish oil allergy are inflammation in the skin, swelling, irritation and itching 1.
- Another common rash that develops is eczema, forming small, red blisters that can weep and crust over.
Other symptoms that may accompany a reactionary rash to salmon are tingling in the lips or mouth, shortness of breathe and nasal congestion. Nasal congestion can cause sneezing, congestion and postnasal drip.
Symptoms of Salmon Allergy
If you experience a rash after eating salmon, consider participating in allergy tests for a proper diagnosis. Skin tests and blood tests may be performed to confirm a salmon allergy. After diagnosis, your doctor may recommend removing salmon and other fish from your diet.
A rash after eating salmon fish oil can cause anaphylactic shock. Common symptoms include:
- shortness of breathe
- a drop in blood pressure
- rapid heart rate
- according to MedlinePlus 3
Call 911 if these symptoms develop.
Salmon & Skin Rash
Symptoms of Salmon Allergy
Fish Oil and Swelling
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Can Fish Oil Cause Rashes?
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Anchovy Allergy Symptoms
Skin Rashes and Allergies to Soy
- Beyond Allergy: Fish Allergy
- Mayo Clinic: Food Allergy
- MedlinePlus: Anaphylaxis
- Fish, salmon, Atlantic, wild, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.
- Fish faceoff: Wild salmon vs. farmed salmon. Cleveland Clinic. Updated 2014.
- Graff IE, Øyen J, Kjellevold M, et al. Reduced bone resorption by intake of dietary vitamin D and K from tailor-made Atlantic salmon: A randomized intervention trial. Oncotarget. 2016;7(43):69200-69215. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.10171
- American Heart Association. Eating Fish for Heart Health. Updated March 27, 2017.
- Collins K. The best winter foods for kids. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Updated 2018.
- Fish: Friend or foe?. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Updated 2020.
- Thomas J, Thomas CJ, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids in early prevention of inflammatory neurodegenerative disease: A focus on Alzheimer's disease. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:172801. doi:10.1155/2015/172801
- Galasso C, Orefice I, Pellone P, et al. On the neuroprotective role of astaxanthin: New perspectives?. Mar Drugs. 2018;16(8). doi:10.3390/md16080247
- Fish allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Updated 2019.
- Crinnion WJ. The role of persistent organic pollutants in the worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the possible connection to Farmed Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar). Altern Med Rev. 2011;16(4):301-313.
- Bergkvist C, Kippler M, Larsson SC, et al. Dietary exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls is associated with increased risk of stroke in women. J Intern Med. 2014;276(3):248-259. doi:10.1111/joim.12194
- Jeffery A. Foran, David H. Good, David O. Carpenter, M. Coreen Hamilton, Barbara A. Knuth, Steven J. Schwager, Quantitative analysis of the benefits and risks of consuming farmed and wild Salmon, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 135, Issue 11, November 2005, Pages 2639–2643, doi: 10.1093/jn/135.11.2639
- Salmon recommendations. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
- Selecting and storing fresh and frozen seafood safely. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.