Skin irritation can occur for several reasons, like sunburn, insect bites, sweat, or dryness. Another common reason for your skin feeling itchy is food intolerances or allergies. This can happen when your immune system does not respond well to certain foods you have eaten. From seafood to dairy products, different foods can cause problems in different people. Here’s a list of some of the common foods that can make your skin feel irritated.
Soy is a type of legume found in foods such as edamame, miso, soymilk, and tofu. Those who are allergic to soy usually experience skin inflammation and irritation. Sometimes, one can also develop hives, a skin rash that appears as small, raised, red bumps, which can be quite itchy. However, these symptoms are experienced only in infancy and childhood. Soy allergy typically appears when one is young but usually goes away by the time they reach adulthood.
One of the most common foods that may trigger skin irritation is milk. This is quite different from lactose intolerance, which causes digestive problems. It is generally observed in children who are allergic to cow’s milk, breast milk, or even milk from other mammals, such as buffalo, sheep, and goats. Skin irritation is often followed by symptoms such as hives and wheezing. Sometimes, there can be abdominal cramps, loose stools, and colic in infants.
Certain proteins found in peanuts trigger an immune response in some individuals. Because of this, the immune system erroneously identifies the proteins as harmful. Therefore, indirect or even direct exposure to peanuts causes the immune system to react badly. As a result, there is skin irritation and swelling. In some cases, a person may also experience shortness of breath and digestive problems. Sometimes, exposure to peanuts can result in anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction.
Fish that have a shell-like exterior or a hard shell are categorized as shellfish. These include lobsters, squids, oysters, crabs, and shrimps. You may experience skin irritations after eating shellfish due to a certain protein present in it called tropomyosin. This protein triggers the immune system leading to symptoms such as skin rashes, itching, and hives. However, not all types of shellfish trigger skin irritation. You may experience allergic reactions to only some shellfish and need to avoid only those.
Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are all grouped as tree nuts. These are basically whole nuts. These are different from peanuts, which come under the category of legumes. Allergies to tree nuts often cause symptoms such as skin irritation, which can lead to hives in severe cases. Other symptoms include itching in the throat, eyes, and mouth. If you are allergic to tree nuts, make sure you look carefully for them in the ingredient list of processed foods, butter, and oils.
Wheat allergies are not the same as celiac disease, which is also triggered by the consumption of wheat-based foods. While celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, wheat allergy is triggered by a protein found in wheat. It is observed that those who have eczema or asthma are more prone to having allergic reactions to wheat. Foods such as baked goods, bread, pasta, and processed foods can cause skin irritation and itching.
Allergy to finned fish is less common than that to shellfish. However, you may experience irritation, itchiness, and hives on their skin when you eat any type of finned fish. These include cod, eel, halibut, pollock, salmon, snapper, and tuna. In addition, allergic reactions may also occur due to consuming fish-based food items, such as caviar, omega-3 supplements, and gelatin. However, it is not necessary that if one type of finned fish causes an allergy, another type will as well.
Another common food that may trigger skin irritation is eggs. Not all parts of eggs trigger this allergic reaction. For instance, you may experience allergic symptoms due to the egg yolk, or you may have allergic reactions due to the egg white. In either case, it is the protein in the eggs that trigger skin irritation, inflammation, and itchiness. So it is important to watch out for eggs in the ingredient list of foods, including baked goods and processed foods.
Tomatoes do not cause allergic reactions on their own. However, it is the cross-pollination, i.e., pollen that is transferred from grass to the tomatoes, that causes allergies. It is generally observed in those who are prone to seasonal allergies, and a tomato allergy can cause hives, rash, and irritation in the skin. In some cases, it can also cause oral allergy syndrome (OAS), which leads to an itchy mouth after eating a tomato.
If you are allergic to other foods, there is a high probability that you may be allergic to sesame as well. The symptoms include skin irritation, itchiness, and mild skin rash. Usually, sesame is used as a seed, paste, and oil while cooking. You can also find it in remedies, cosmetics, and pet food. However, sesame is not always listed as an allergen. So make sure to read food labels and ingredient lists carefully.