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Red food allergy?

My daughter is 2 years old, and everytime the skin on her face comes in contact with red food for an extended period of time she gets a bumpy rash around that area.  The foods that we have noticed are : Spaghetti sauce, Ketchup, Pizza sauce, the red icing from her birthday cake, and a Cinnamon flavored mint (she tried spitting it out and it got all over her mouth).  Any ideas as to how this would correlate?  Is this pretty common, or should we be concerned that she may have more serious underlying food allergies that have not yet surfaced?
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I am a 47 yr old female and I have experienced in recent years flare ups to my eczema on my face and eye lids when I occasionally eat foods that are naturally red in color. When traveling to other countries I have eaten red pepper spread used on bread; (tastes like pimento spread) and after repeated use over a few days my eyes will swell up! Then sometimes spaghetti sauce or Red wine. Beet salad was the newest thing to add to my list. I am currently using Allegra in the morning and Benadryl at night to stop the eczema itching from this last flare up. A friend of mine in another country also has the same red food allergy. This is very disconcerting to me also. april7677
Avatar universal
I thought I was crazy!  My 13 mo old daughter breaks out in rashes when she eats too much naturally red food.  We have never had an issue with sauce (which she absolutely loves), but red grapes, blackberries, beets and red cabbage all caused a reaction.  The red cabbage actually gave her hives.  There doesn't seem to be much on the web in the way of info on this, either.  I wonder what the story is.  I do hope she outgrows this, as these are such healthy foods...
Avatar universal
I think the itchy rash I've been getting is also from red food. I'm 24 and I've never had a reaction until this year when I ate more strawberries at one sitting then I ever had before lol I had a rash all over my body the next day. I got some pills and cream from my doctor and it slowly went away but it's back again...I eat red foods everyday because I live in Korea and they put red pepper sauce on everything. I also eat tomatoes and drink red wine pretty often. So I wonder if I have an allergy to red foods now :o(
Avatar universal

Do antihistamine medications help with your symptoms? It would be best to get a clinical evaluation done by your doctor.

What symptoms do you have? Are you on any medications currently?

Let us know about what your doctor advises and how you are doing.

Avatar universal

My brother used to also suffer from this when he was younger. He used to break out into hives and red rashes all over his body. It can be very distressing and I sympathise with you all in this hard time. This is a food allergy and can be caused by red pigmented food such as ketchup, tomatoes, strawberries etc...

Allergens are usually proteins, and there are generally several kinds of allergen in each food. It is not fully understood why some foods can cause allergies and others do not, but a theory is that it is probably that some proteins in foods mimic very closely proteins present in viruses and bacteria. Hence, in some persons, ususally this is genetically predisposed, their immune system is not able to distinguish the food protein from the virus or bacteria one, hence it attacks.

If a food allergy or intolerance is suspected then a visit to the GP is the place to start as he can refer you to an allergy specialist who can make a correct diagnosis. Once the diagnosis of food allergy has been made, avoidance of the causative food is essential. Occasionally complete elimination of the food for 1-2 years may result in a loss of clinical symptoms, but allergies to fish, peanuts usually persists for life.

Complete avoidance of the offending food is often difficult due to the presence of very small quantities in commercially manufactured foods. Progress towards comprehensive labelling of food allergens has led to better management of allergies, but cases of malnutrition resulting from the mismanagement of diets due to fear and lack of knowledge have been reported. There is therefore a need for proper dietetic planning which should be given by a health professional with a specialised knowledge in this area (usually a dietician or nutritionist). Advice given would ensure that a diet is nutritionally adequate (with the use of nutritional supplements if necessary) with specific advice of what foods are likely to contain the offending foods. Sometimes food allergens are labelled using names that the consumer is not accustomed to. Education of the allergy patient is therefore vital, but it is not where food allergy management ends, in fact it is where it starts. Armed with knowledge the food allergic person can be constantly vigilant about what they eat, and they need to be!

Where there is an indication that a food allergy may have been outgrown, an effort to safely introduce the offending food in the allergic individual's diet is done by a careful challenge procedure in a setting where any serious reactions can be properly managed (i.e. in hospital). It needs to be established whether the food is safe in all forms (e.g. raw and or cooked). Appropriate advice on what can be introduced into the diet needs to be given by an appropriately qualified individual.

Food allergy -even when severe -can be managed perfectly well. What is required is sound medical guidance and a commitment by the patient to remain vigilant and always carry prescribed medication.

Hope this helps


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