Hives and itchiness: Is chocolate a trigger?

Hives and itchiness that arises after eating a food might be an indication of an allergic reaction. A reaction that develops after eating chocolate may or might not be linked to cocoa allergy.

The skin reactions that arises after eating chocolate might be linked to the other components present in chocolates. When it comes to hives, it might be a sign of anaphylaxis which is a severe and dangerous reaction.

Allergens

hives

Hives and generalized itchiness that arises after consuming chocolate is due to a chemical chain-reaction that arises during an allergic reaction.

Various chocolate products include highly allergenic food components. The most common ingredients that can trigger an allergic reaction include peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, wheat and dairy.

If sensitive to any of these ingredients, consuming chocolate can trigger a reaction. The only way to determine the culprit in chocolate is to set an appointment with a doctor for further testing.

What is the root cause?

Hives and generalized itchiness that arises after consuming chocolate is due to a chemical chain-reaction that arises during an allergic reaction. The immune system wrongly perceives the proteins as a threat and initiates an attack.

Antibodies are released into the bloodstream which triggers the release of histamine. This chemical is responsible for the irritation and inflammation all over the body. Excess histamine in the skin can cause hives and itchiness.

Management

Hives and itchiness that develops after eating chocolate is effectively managed by avoidance of the chocolate until a diagnosis is given by the doctor. Once diagnosed, the specific food should be eliminated from the diet completely.

If the individual experiences a moderate allergic skin reaction, the affected skin can be treated using hydrocortisone and an oral antihistamine. As for severe reactions, emergency care is needed and a shot of epinephrine.

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