Pistachios are small tree nuts that belong in the same family as cashews. Pistachio allergy typically develops early in life and often persists throughout the lifetime of the individual. Even a small amount of pistachio can trigger certain symptoms. A common reaction linked with this type of food allergy is itchy rash on the hands or other parts of the body.
It is important to note that hives is an itchy rash that is typically instigated by an allergic reaction. Hives are described as itchy, elevated, red-colored welts that have the tendency to change shape, spread as well as vanish and reappear within minutes to hours.
Hives can manifest around the hands but also around the mouth, in the back, stomach or other parts of the body. Other symptoms of pistachio allergy include watery eyes, blotchy red skin, choking, coughing, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and diarrhea.
Eczema is basically a skin rash that becomes worse if an individual is allergic to nuts. This skin condition is also called as atopic dermatitis which causes itchy skin swelling linked with small-sized, elevated bumps that can ooze and crust over when scratched. Take note that eczema usually manifests in the arms as well as behind the knees.
When it comes to mild cases of hives, they vanish after some time and might not require any form of treatment. You can minimize the itchiness by avoiding showers and baths as well as avoiding clothing made out of irritating fabrics. As an alternative, you can minimize the swelling and itchiness using over-the-counter antihistamine pills or creams.
You can ease the symptoms of eczema by applying hypoallergenic lotions over the affected area as well as using anti-itch creams, antihistamines and avoidance of allergens in the diet.
As for severe cases, the doctor might prescribe a steroid cream to manage the symptoms. Oftentimes, hives can trigger a serious allergic reaction that results to swelling of the throat and airway blockage. The treatment involves an epinephrine injection or steroids. If the individual experiences any breathing difficulty, he/she must be taken to the emergency department in the nearest hospital for further care.
Preventing an allergic reaction to pistachio is possible by avoidance of the nut and all foods that contain pistachios and cashews. An individual with pistachio allergy might be able to eat other nuts that belong to other nut families such as pecans, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. On the other hand, some individuals might be allergic to more than one nut family and should avoid these as well.
Possible sources of pistachio and other nuts include candy, chocolate, donuts, cookies, ice cream, cereal, granola, trail mix, specialty coffee, muesli and certain skin products such as lotions, shampoos, oils and bath scrubs. In addition, foods that are processed in factories that also process nuts might be contaminated with nuts and should be avoided. It is vital to carefully read all the labels and avoid any products that do not clearly indicate if pistachios are present.