What Might Milder Reactions Look Like
A more mild allergic reaction to nuts may look like an itchy or runny nose, an itchy mouth, sneezing, and mild tummy pain, says Dr. Leeds. Your child may be showing signs of a milder allergic reaction when they have a few scattered hives, explains Dr. Owens. Or they may have swelling of just one side of their lip.
Understanding Tree Nut Allergies
Tree nut allergy is one of the eight most common food allergies. Tree nut allergies are an allergic reaction to the proteins found in tree nuts, including hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios. It is estimated that 32 million Americans have food allergies, and according to studies published in 2018 and 2019, 6.1 million Americans were allergic to peanuts and 3.9 million were allergic to tree nuts.
Hives And Summer Allergies
Pollen and ragweed are common triggers of seasonal allergies that are prevalent in the spring and fall respectively. However, pollen is still active in the summer, along with many other allergy triggers. Exposure to certain allergy triggers is especially common in summer, including insects bites and stings, the chlorine in swimming pools, and the smoke from campfires.
While not strictly an allergic reaction, heat hives are also a concern for people who undergo allergic reactions in the summer. In some people, overheating can cause a similar histamine reaction to allergy triggers, causing outbreaks of hives. Heat hives usually disappear about an hour after they show up on the skin, and can be extra troublesome when they combine with other summertime allergies.
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Final Thoughts On Eating Well To Heal A Skin Rash
Food allergies can be stressful, especially if youre worried about what kind of allergy reaction youll have. Some food allergies are life-threatening, so you need to be aware of what you eat. If you accidentally eat the food, you will need to be prepared to treat yourself or get treatment.
Fortunately, there are many foods you can take to help calm down your eczema and any skin rash that may happen when you have an allergic reaction.
What Is Nut Allergy
An allergy occurs when your body’s immune system, which normally fights infection, overreacts to a substance called an allergen. Most allergens are not obviously harmful and they have no effect on people who are not allergic to them. Allergic reactions to allergens can vary from mild to life-threatening.
Both peanuts and tree nuts can act as allergens, and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. When you come into contact with something that you are allergic to , a group of cells in your body, called mast cells, release a substance called histamine. Histamine causes the tiny blood vessels in the tissues of your body to leak fluid which causes the tissues to swell. This results in a number of different symptoms.
Strictly speaking, peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes, in the same family as peas and beans. Peanuts grow underground whereas other nuts grow on trees. The word nut in this leaflet can mean either tree nuts or peanuts.
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The Truth About Peanut Allergies In Kids
Its no surprise that peanuts are often feared by parents the number of kids with peanut allergies has tripled in the past 15 years.
But peanuts can be your babys food friend. Really!
New research shows that introducing small amounts of peanut products to your baby can help your child avoid being among the 1 in 50 kids with a peanut allergy.
In fact, giving a little peanut butter or mixing in peanut powder with other foods can ward off allergic reaction to peanuts and prevent peanut allergy development in some people, according to new guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Peanuts Tree Nuts And Seeds Are Hard To Avoid
Peanuts, tree nuts and seeds are widely used in Western and Asian foods. This poses significant problems for people with severe peanut, tree nut or seed allergy. Laws require that any product containing peanut, tree nuts or sesame must be clearly labelled. Therefore, it is important to check the labels of all foods before purchase. Further information about reading food labels, food selection and allergen avoidance is available on the ASCIA dietary avoidance information sheets.
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What Are Hives And What Causes Them
Hives are a term used to describe a medical condition known as urticaria, a skin disorder that occurs when the bodys immune system responds to an allergic threat.
Hives can occur at any age, and the appearance of hives can vary with skin color. If you have brown skin, hives are often the same color as your skin or slightly darker or lighter than your natural skin color. People who have light complexions will have pink- and red-colored hives as a result of the allergic reaction. Hives can itch, burn, and sting and often feel warm to the touch. Hives can also result in blanching, whereby applying pressure on the hive will cause the discoloration to disappear and then return immediately when the pressure is lifted. Hives may stay, spread or emerge on another part of the skin.
Hives can occur for a variety of reasons including but not limited to: certain foods, medications, plants, pollen, animal dander, insect bites and chemicals found in the garden like pesticides. Its also possible for people to experience hives related to emotional stress, as a result of wearing tight clothing when exercising or as a result of illnesses or infection.
Foods To Avoid When You Have Nut Allergies
Nix them when you cook, and look for them on food labels:
- Nut butters: Almond, cashew, peanut, and others
- Nut pastes. These include products like marzipan, almond paste, and nougat.
- Nut oils. These include cold-pressed or expressed peanut oil, along with others.
- Hydrolyzed plant or vegetable protein. These can have peanuts in them.
- Nut extracts, like almond extract
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Developing A Sudden Nut Allergy
Most people develop allergies as children. If you have a nut allergy as a child, you may even grow out of it.
However, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the Mayo Clinic, it’s also possible to develop a food allergy as an adult. The sudden onset of food allergies in adults can occur even when a person has been eating that food for their entire lives. Once you become allergic to something as an adult, it’s likely to always cause you issues.
If you suspect a sudden walnut allergy or other tree nut allergy, you are likely to experience symptoms like:
Gastrointestinal symptoms, including stomach pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Feeling like your throat is closing up. This may make you feel like you are having problems swallowing or shortness of breath.
Itchy mouth, throat, eyes or skin.
Anaphylaxis. This is the most dangerous symptomâ
it can be life-threatening and has the potential to send the body into shock.
How To Treat Allergy
In order to decide the best treatment plan for your hives, a doctor first must determine the underlying cause of the welts. Once an ENT specialist discovers the root cause of your hives, they may recommend some of the following treatments.
If specific allergies such as hay, pollen, or pet dander are responsible for your hives and itching symptoms, treating these allergies can reduce or eliminate your hives entirely. Antihistamine oral medication can be helpful to relieve symptoms for a short time. Allergy shots are effective at treating allergies and symptoms, including urticaria, but they require monthly office visits and uncomfortable encounters with needles. Allergy drops, also called sublingual immunotherapy, are just as effective as allergy shots but can be done quickly and easily at home. Just a few drops under the tongue each day treats your allergies and even keeps new allergies from developing.
Insect Bites and Stings
If an insect bite or sting is causing your hives, an antihistamine may also be recommended to reduce swelling and itching, along with a cold compress or anti-itch ointment like hydrocortisone cream to help soothe the skin. If an anaphylactic reaction occurs with your hives, meaning swelling of the throat or mouth restricts breathing airways, you will need to use an epinephrine injection pen and see an emergency room right away for treatment.
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Cross Reactions With Other Foods
Children with allergies listed below can react to other foods:
- Cow’s milk allergy: 90% also react with goat’s milk and 40% with soy milk
- Egg: 5% react with chicken
- Peanut: 5% react with other legumes . About 30% also react to tree nuts.
- Tree nut: 40% react with other tree nuts
- Fish: 50% react with other fish. Only 10% also react to shellfish.
- Shellfish: 70% react with other shellfish
- Melon: 90% react with banana and avocado
Is It Hives Or Angioedema
Angioedema swelling of tissue beneath the surface of the skin can be mistaken for, or associated with hives. It can be caused by allergic reactions, medications or a hereditary deficiency of some enzymes. The following symptoms may indicate angioedema:
- Swelling in the eyes or mouth
- Swelling of the hands, feet or throat
- Difficulty breathing, stomach cramps or swelling of the lining of the eyes
The best way to identify your symptoms is to talk to an allergist who can diagnose and treat both hives and angioedema.
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What Is The Difference Between Food Allergy And Food Intolerance
Food allergy is sometimes confused with food intolerance. Food allergies involve your immune system and can be life-threatening. An intolerance is when your body has trouble digesting a food. It can make you feel bad, usually with an upset stomach, but it is not life-threatening. The most common intolerance is to lactosewhich is a natural sugar found in milk.
Can Nut Allergy Be Prevented
In the past, the Department of Health advised that atopic pregnant and breast-feeding mothers and their infants should avoid peanuts. However, in 2009, the Department of Health changed their advice. They found there was no evidence that eating or not eating nuts when pregnant made any difference to the chances of a child developing allergy. Since that time they have advised there is no need for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers to avoid nuts.
There is some evidence that introducing peanuts to the diet early on in the weaning process may make a child less likely to develop an allergy to them. Obviously whole peanuts are a choking hazard, so they need to be in a form which is safe for the baby .
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What Will The Doctor Do
If your doctor thinks you might have a nut or peanut allergy, he or she will probably send you to see a doctor who specializes in allergies. The will ask you about past reactions and how long it takes between eating the nut or peanut and getting the symptoms, such as hives.
The allergist may also ask whether anyone else in your family has allergies or other allergy conditions, such as eczema or asthma. Researchers aren’t sure why some people have food allergies and others don’t, but they sometimes run in families.
The allergist may also want to do a skin test. This is a way of seeing how your body reacts to a very small amount of the nut that is giving you trouble. The allergist will use a liquid extract of the nut that seems to be causing you symptoms.
During skin testing, a little scratch on your skin is made . That’s how just a little of the liquid nut gets into your skin. If you get a reddish, itchy, raised spot, it shows that you may be allergic to that food or substance.
Skin tests are the best test for food allergies, but if more information is needed, the doctor may also order a blood test. At the lab, the blood will be mixed with some of the food or substance you may be allergic to and checked for antibodies.
How Long Does It Take For A Reaction To Start After Eating A Food
Symptoms usually start as soon as a few minutes after eating a food and as long as two hours after. In some cases, after the first symptoms go away, a second wave of symptoms comes back one to four hours later . This second wave is called a biphasic reaction. The risk of a biphasic reaction is why patients who have a severe reaction should stay at a hospital for four to six hours for observation.
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Rash From An Almond Allergy
When a person with almond allergy accidentally eats an almond, the body’s response is often the immediate eruption of hives profoundly itchy, raised red patches of skin that blanch white in the center when pressed, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 3. Hives, also known as urticaria, can come and go within minutes and can move around to different areas of skin and emerge on any part of the body. Another possibility for people with an almond allergy who eat almonds is an itchy, blistering rash that can occur anywhere on the body. Almonds can worsen eczema for people with the skin condition.
How To Safely Introduce Peanut Products To Your Child
After your baby is already eating other solid foods, you can safely introduce age-appropriate peanut-containing foods at 4 to 6 months, unless your child is at high risk.
High-risk children are those who have severe eczema, an egg allergy or both. In these cases, your child should be screened by a healthcare provider. That provider may complete a skin or blood test first to measure your childs reaction to tiny amounts of peanut products.
If your child has mild or moderate eczema, you may feel more comfortable asking your primary care provider before you introduce peanut-containing foods.
For babies at no risk: Bring on the peanut-containing foods just not a whole nut, as it can be a choking hazard. Read these instructions created by the expert panel.
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Ascia Action Plans Are Essential
On average the nut allergic person will have an accidental exposure every few years. The difficulties of avoiding peanuts, tree nuts or seeds completely make it essential to have an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis when an adrenaline autoinjector has been prescribed.
Nut allergy can be effectively managed
Under the supervision of a clinical immunology/allergy specialist and with a network of supportive contacts, people with allergy to peanuts, tree nuts or seeds can learn to manage their allergies. The knowledge that adrenaline autoinjectors are available offers reassurance, but is not a substitute for strategies to minimise the risk of exposure to allergen triggers.
ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand.
ASCIA resources are based on published literature and expert review, however, they are not intended to replace medical advice. The content of ASCIA resources is not influenced by any commercial organisations.
For more information go to www.allergy.org.au
To donate to immunology/allergy research go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au
Identifying Hives And Allergic Skin Rashes
Hives are itchy, raised bumps that develop on your skin. Also called urticaria, theyre one of the most common signs of mild nut allergies, along with skin rashes and redness.
If youre allergic to nuts, eating or touching them triggers an immune response. Your body releases increased histamines into your blood to defend itself. Unfortunately, these histamines can cause itchy, swollen skin.
Histamines can cause hives, welts, rashes, or swelling in your extremities. Sometimes, you may notice increased redness or tenderness.
Hives from nut allergies generally develop two to four hours after eating nuts. They may appear in just one area or across your whole body. They may be large or small, and theyre usually red, pink, or skin-colored.
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How Are Tree Nut Allergies Diagnosed
Tree nut allergies can be life-threatening. Thats why its so important to have a definitive diagnosis from an allergist. To diagnose your allergies, your allergist may conduct a skin prick test. During this test, your skin will be exposed to a variety of allergens. If youre allergic to one of the allergens, your skin will react and swell or turn red. Your doctor may also recommend blood tests depending on your age and other medical conditions you have.
If the results of your tests are inconclusive, your doctor may request a food challenge. For this test, you will be exposed to the allergen in increasing doses over several hours. Your doctor will supervise this test in case there is an allergic reaction. Emergency medication and services should be at hand during the test.
Can Allergies Cause Eczema Rashes And Hives
Bumpy, itchy, red skin can be painful, irritating, and sometimes embarrassing. Many things cause rashes, including allergies, exposure to plants like poison ivy, certain illnesses such as chickenpox and measles, as well as over-reactions to foods and environmental contacts for some people. The most common skin rashes are hives and eczemaboth of which are linked with allergies and sensitivitiesand that is the focus of this article.
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