Itching skin from caffeine sensitivity is most likely caused by an allergic reaction in the body. There’s a difference between being sensitive to caffeinated beverages and foods and having an allergy. Itching skin is a sign of an allergic reaction caused by increased histamine levels in the skin. If you notice that your skin becomes inflamed, itchy and irritated after consuming caffeine, make an appointment with an allergist for testing and a clinical diagnosis.
Different people can handle different amounts of caffeine in their daily diet. You may be able to drink two cups of coffee without developing adverse reactions, while someone else may only be able to drink a half cup of coffee. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may experience headaches, an upset stomach, irritability and an increase in heart rate. If you develop a skin rash from consuming caffeine, you may have a hypersensitivity, or allergy, to caffeine. A caffeine allergy is a reaction of the immune system to the caffeine, which can cause various symptoms, including skin rashes that are itchy.
A caffeine allergy occurs when your immune system malfunctions and overreacts to the presence of caffeine. In order for your condition to be diagnosed as an allergy, your immune system needs to release immunoglobulin E antibodies, also called IgE antibodies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Allergy testing can confirm the presence of these antibodies in your bloodstream. When the immune system creates IgE antibodies, other cells throughout the body release chemicals to protect against the allergen. The other chemicals cause inflammation and swelling in different parts of you body.
Itchy skin resulting from a caffeine allergy will be related to hives, eczema or general itching. Itchy skin is caused by histamine, a chemical produced during an allergic reaction. Histamine is a natural chemical in the body that protects against infections, but during an allergic reaction, too much histamine production causes inflammation and swelling. Your skin may develop hives, which are welts that form in clusters with defined borders. Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes small blisters to develop on your body. You may simply experience general itching, redness and irritation from an allergic reaction to caffeine.
Once you receive a clinical diagnosis that you have a caffeine allergy, you will be advised to eliminate all caffeine from your diet. Avoid coffee, tea, decaffeinated coffee, decaffeinated tea, energy drinks and chocolate products. Ingesting a small amount of caffeine has the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction.