A skin rash that results from eating or touching chocolate is a reaction of the immune system to cocoa or other ingredients in the chocolate product. One of the most common adverse reactions after eating chocolate is a skin rash. People with a hypersensitivity of the skin may develop inflammation after coming in direct contact with chocolate. If you have an allergy to cocoa or one of the other ingredients found in the chocolate product, you may experience hives or eczema. Consult your physician if you develop a rash after consuming chocolate.
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Although it's uncommon, it's possible to form an allergic reaction to chocolate, according to Health Care Information. Some chocolates contain milk, soy, tree nuts or peanuts, which have a high amount of allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction. During an allergic reaction, the immune system malfunctions and fails to recognize that one of the ingredients is safe. The body reacts as if it’s under attack and begins to produce antibodies and other chemicals to ward off the substance, according to MayoClinic.com.
Food Allergy Rash
An allergic reaction to chocolate can produce various types of rashes. The most common include hives, eczema and general inflammation. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, each of these rashes causes inflammation and severe itching. A food allergy rash may be treated with an oral antihistamine or topical steroid creams. Consult your doctor before attempting to self-medicate.
Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin that occurs after touching a certain substance. EczemaNet says your skin may be sensitive to the ingredients in chocolate and when you touch it, it acts as a skin irritant that leads to a topical allergic reaction. Contact dermatitis is also commonly caused by tomatoes, citrus fruits and certain perfumes.
Mild symptoms of contact dermatitis include patches of red, itchy and scaly skin that may burn or sting when touched, according to EczemaNet. If contact with chocolate continues, the skin can ooze, crack, scale and experience extreme dryness. Patches of hard, leathery skin can develop where the skin as been affected. If you have a severe reaction, your skin may blister and swell immediately with an intense burning sensation.
MayoClinic.com warns that a skin rash such as hives may be one of the first signs of a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction forms quickly after eating the chocolate and forms other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing and lightheadedness. If these symptoms develop, call 911.