A Skin Rash from Tomatoes

A rash from tomatoes is most likely due to an allergy.

A skin rash from tomatoes is commonly the result of allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis is a skin condition in which the skin becomes inflamed by coming in direct contact with an allergen or irritant, such as tomatoes. Tomatoes and other highly acidic foods can cause contact dermatitis. If you notice a skin rash that develops every time you touch or eat tomatoes, you should talk to your doctor. You may have an allergy to certain fruits and vegetables.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis is inflammation in the skin that leads to swelling, redness and extreme itchiness. After coming in contact with tomatoes, you may develop a skin rash within minutes or up to 48 hours. The rash can range from mild to severe symptoms and may take multiple exposures to tomatoes before the rash is identifiable. This is because the body is slowly building up an antibody to fight off the tomato allergen.


If you develop allergic contact dermatitis after eating tomatoes, wash the areas of the body that came into direct contact with the food. After rinsing the area and removing any residue, apply topical hydrocortisone cream. In some cases your doctor may prescribe you corticosteroid creams if your condition is severe.


The most effective test to confirm an allergy to tomatoes is a patch test. An allergist will place a patch on your skin with a small amount of the allergen. After the patch has been left on the skin for some time, the doctor will remove it to observe if the skin forms a rash.


Identifying and avoiding the source of contact dermatitis is the first step in treating the condition. Once you have been diagnosed with contact dermatitis related to tomatoes, avoid consuming them. Read the ingredients on prepacked foods, and ask your sever about ingredients when you go out to eat at restaurants. Wear gloves if you need to handle tomatoes or tomato plants.


If you develop a rash after eating tomatoes, you may be allergic. Hives are a common rash associated with a food-related allergy and may be a sign of anaphylactic shock. If you experience other symptoms, such as nasal congestion, asthma or digestive issues, you need to be evaluated by an allergist to determine the severity of the allergy. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction to tomatoes can lead to death.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. If you think you may have COVID-19, use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker before leaving the house.