Pistachio Allergies Causing Itching Hands

Pistachios are small tree nuts that belong to a mango nut family together with cashews. Pistachio allergies typically develop early in life and often persist throughout a person's lifetime. Even the smallest amount of pistachios can cause symptoms. Itchy skin and rash is a common reaction associated with food allergy.

Eating pistachios can sometimes cause itchy hives or worsen eczema. (Image: SR77/Moment/Getty Images)


Hives is an itchy skin condition commonly caused by an allergic reaction. Hives are raised, itchy, red welts that can change shape, spread, disappear and reappear within minutes to hours, according to MedlinePlus. Hives can occur around your hands but also around the mouth, stomach, back and other parts of your body. Other symptoms of pistachio allergy include blotchy red skin, watery eyes, coughing, choking, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.


Eczema is a skin rash, which can worsen if you get an allergic reaction to nuts, according to the KidsHealth website. Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is an itchy skin inflammation associated with small raised bumps that can ooze and crust when scathed. Eczema typically appears on your arms and behind your knees.


Mild hives can disappear on its own and may not require any treatment. Reduce itching by avoiding baths and showers and not wearing irritating clothing. Optionally, you can reduce the swelling and itching with an over-the-counter antihistamine cream or pills. Ease the symptoms of eczema by applying hypoallergenic lotions on the affected area and by anti-itch creams, antihistamines and eliminating allergens from your diet. In severe cases your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream to ease the symptoms. Sometimes hives can cause a serious allergic reaction that leads to the swelling of your throat and blockage of your airways -- which may be treated with an epinephrine injection or steroids. It is essential you go to the emergency room if you experience any breathing difficulties.


Preventing allergic reactions is achieved by avoiding all foods that contain pistachios and cashews. You may be able to eat other nuts that belong to other nut families, such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds. However, in some cases you can be allergic to more than one nut family and have to avoid these as well. Potential sources of pistachios and other nuts include chocolate, candy, cookies, donuts, cereal, ice cream, trail mix, granola, muesli, specialty coffee and certain skin products, like shampoos, lotions, bath scrubs and oils. In addition, foods that are manufactured in factories that also process nuts may be contaminated with nuts and need to be avoided. It is essential you thoroughly read all nutrition labels and avoid consuming any products that do not clearly state whether pistachios are present.

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