Can chocolate cause a skin rash?

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A skin rash that develops after ingestion or handling of chocolate is basically a response of the immune system to cocoa or other components present in chocolate. One of the usual adverse reactions that occur after eating chocolate is a skin rash.

Individuals who have highly sensitive skin might develop inflammation after direct exposure to chocolate via handling. If an individual has an allergy to cocoa or one of the components or ingredients in chocolate, he/she can experience hives or eczema. A doctor should be consulted if the individual starts to develop a skin rash after eating chocolate products.

What is chocolate allergy?

Even though this type of allergy is not common, it is possible for some to develop an allergic reaction to chocolate. Remember that some chocolates contain soy, milk, peanuts or tree nuts that contain large amounts of allergens that can easily instigate an allergic reaction.

Skin rashes such as hives might be one of the initial signs of a severe allergic reaction.

During an allergic reaction, the immune system malfunctions and unable to recognize certain foods as safe for the body. The body reacts as if it is under siege and starts to generate antibodies and other chemicals to defend the body.

Food allergy skin rash

An allergic response to chocolate can trigger a variety of skin rashes. The common types of skin rashes include eczema, hives and generalized inflammation. Take note that each of these skin rashes can cause inflammation and intense itchiness. When managing a food allergy rash, it involves the use of antihistamines that are taken orally or topical steroid creams. If in doubt regarding the medication to use for the skin rash, do not try any medications. A doctor should be asked before attempting to use any medications.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis involves inflammation of the skin that develops after exposure to certain substances. The skin might be highly sensitive to certain ingredients or component present in chocolate and when direct exposure occurs, it becomes a skin irritant that leads to a topical allergic reaction. In addition, contact dermatitis can also be triggered by citrus fruits, tomatoes and certain perfumes.

What are the symptoms?

The minor symptoms of contact dermatitis include red-colored patches of itchy scaly skin that can burn or sting when touched. In case contact with chocolate persists, the skin can ooze, scale, crack and end up severely dry. The patches of hard, leather-like skin can develop in the affected areas. If the individual ends up with a severe reaction, the skin can blister and swell rapidly with a severe burning sensation.

Considerations to bear in mind

Skin rashes such as hives might be one of the initial signs of a severe allergic reaction. Remember that a severe allergic reaction develops rapidly after consumption of chocolate and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as wheezing, difficulty breathing and lightheadedness. Once any of these symptoms develop, call for emergency assistance right away.

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