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Can Food Allergies Make Your Hand Itch & Turn Red?

by
author image April Khan
April Khan is a medical journalist who began writing in 2005. She has contributed to publications such as "BBC Focus." In 2012, Khan received her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She also holds an Associate of Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas and a Master of Science in international health from University College London.
Can Food Allergies Make Your Hand Itch & Turn Red?
Food allergies can cause the hands to become itchy and inflamed. Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

According to the MayoClinic, food allergies affect 6 to 8 percent of children under 5 in the United States and 3 to 4 percent of adults. Food allergies can cause a range of symptoms from abdominal pain to hives. Symptoms may come on suddenly after eating a specific food or gradually, affecting one part of the body or several at a time. Food allergies can cause itching and redness all over the body including the hands.

Identification

Food allergies are caused by an immune response in the body triggered in response to foods that the body misunderstands as a threat. No matter the amount, once the offending food is ingested, antibodies and histamine are released into the blood to repel the substance. When this occurs, you may experience digestive upset and skin allergy symptoms. In some people, food allergies can trigger a severe reaction called anaphylaxis, which is life threatening.

Symptoms

The release of histamine in the blood stream affects the digestive system and the skin. Symptoms of skin allergy are tingling or itching in the mouth; hives; itching; eczema; swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat; wheezing; abdominal pain; diarrhea; congestion; vomiting and dizziness or fainting. Symptoms of the severe allergic reaction anaphylaxis are rapid pulse, shock, dizziness, difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness.

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Causes

Most food allergies are caused by foods such as shellfish, peanuts, fish, eggs, milk and wheat. Food allergies are caused by the lack of an enzyme needed to digest a food, food poisoning, sensitivity to food additives, recurring stress and Celiac disease. Risk factors for developing food allergies are a family history of food allergies, having food allergies as a child, age and asthma.

Considerations

If your hands are itchy and red after eating a specific food, make a note of the food and any other symptoms you may be experiencing and contact your physician. Itchy skin on any part of the body can be treated by using over-the-counter antihistamines. MayoClinic states that over-the-counter antihistamines are for the treatment of minor allergic reactions not for severe reactions, which require immediate emergency care.

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References

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