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Food Allergy leading to skin rash.

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My 9 month old son has been broke out in a rash for about a month now, some days the rash looks worse then others. It seems to get worse when he eats Cheerios or the gerber puffs for babies. I asked his pediatrician about it and they said it was just a viral rash, but I am wondering if he may have a food allergy/sensitivity to wheat. Am I concerned over nothing or should I take him to see an allergist? The spots in the picture are on his arms, chest/belly, legs, back, face and neck.

Category: Pediatrician

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Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
 23 Doctors Online

Dear parent, thankyou for approaching DoctorSpring with your query.
Your concern regarding your child's skin rash is justified.
In view of the temporal correlation with cheerios/ puff ingestion, there is a very strong likelihood of this being a skin manifestation of food allergy. The morphology of the rash also is suggestive of a hypersensitivity reaction rather than viral. However, you need to clarify regarding the following aspects:
1. What is the time interval between onset of the rash and the ingestion of above foods?
2. Are there any other symptoms like swelling of lips or vomiting/ abdominal pain, etc after ingestion of these foods?
3. How long do these skin lesions last? Do they disappear spontaneously? Do they respond to medications?
4. Is there a history of allergy/ atopy/ asthma in the child or other daily members?

Answers to these questions would make the diagnosis clearer. However, it would be prudent to personally visit a dermatologist or allergy specialist.

Saptharishi L G

Patient replied :

Here are the answers to your questions.

1.) I usually notice the biggest difference over night. If he eats the Cheerios at dinner time then by morning he has the spots all over different parts of his body. And if he happens to eat the Cheerios two days in a row then the rash will increase the second day. He will have more spots covering more of his body.

2.) His belly seems to bother him after eating the foods. He is a lot fussier and wakes more frequently at night. I have not noticed any swelling. He doesn't get full blown diarrhea but his stools are a little looser then normal when he eats these as well

3.) Most of the spots are usually gone in 3-4 days. Some stragglers last a week or so. I've given him Benedryl and it seems to help with the fussiness but doesnt make the spots go away.

4.) There is some history of hay fever allergies in the family but no known food allergies

Thank you for your help

Dear Parent,
Thank you for the prompt and insightful replies. This definitely adds a lot of meaningful information to my analysis. Your description could definitely fit into a food allergy (more of a type I hypersensitivity).

Few of the measures that would be advised on a routine basis for children with food allergy are:
1. Completely avoid ingesting substances that produce such manifestations.
2. Make a list of these food items and try to analyse which one of the ingredients is causing harm.

Kindly meet a pediatrician specialising in immunology/ allergy or pediatric gastro-enterologist for further guidance regarding management.


Dr. Saptharishi L G
Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
Senior Residency: DM,  Pediatric Critical Care, PGIMER

Residency: MD, Pediatrics, Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, 2013

Internship: JIPMER, 2009

Medical School: MBBS, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, 2008
Dr. Saptharishi L G and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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