Cake Allergy?

Updated on October 19, 2009
A.M. asks from Dallas, TX
14 answers

gave daughter a vanilla cupcake for her bday and she had it all over her face. hubby gave her a bite of his choc one and when i cleaned her off - she had welts around her mouth and on her hands. she has had cake and ice cream before (choc) from another bakery and was fine...what do you think caused the reaction? she has had eczema, but it is under control now and the welts were gone within 10 mins.

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

The same thing happened to my son on his 1st birthday. Was it colored icing? That was the culprit with us. It caused him to have red patches on his face wherever the icing was. It went away over a short time. He has not had the problem since then. It was the first time he had colored icing, so I think it was just the initial reaction.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hello A.,

I'd have your daughter checked for allergies. and in the meantime, carry children's benadryl with you.

Also, I'd try and find out the ingredients on both cupcakes...

Good luck!
~C.~

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W.L.

answers from Dallas on

I have eczema and it has decreased greatly as I have aged but as a child they told me one of the things to avoid was chocolate. I never really liked chocolate so I rarely ate it and can not tell if the outbreaks got worse when I did but they did advise me against it.

M.A.

answers from Dallas on

It does not sound like a food allergy, it sounds like it irritated her skin. It sounds like she was playing with it as much as she was eating it and rubbing the icing on her hands and face mroe than likely scratched and irritated ehr skin. My suggestion is to feed her the same cupcake/cake mix whatever again, off of a fork, being careful not to get it on her face and hands and see if she has any reaction, that was if she doesn't you can forget about the whole thing and know that she doesn't have an allergy. And, if by some odd chance she does have an allergy, you will be watching, expecting and prepared for it. Much better to discover the allergy in a contolled environment and be prepared than some other time when you aren't paying close attention or leave her with someone else. I don't think it is an allergy though, just irritated skin. My daugher's skin gets irritated when ground cinnamon touches or rubs her skin, but simply eating it has no effect on her. I learned this when I put it in her cereal the first few times. When I was scraping the cereal mess off of her face with the spoon between bites, it was causing a scary looking redness, but once I stopped doing that and just fed it all to her and gently wiped with a wet rag, she had no more reaction. It sounds like your daughter probably has very sensitive skin. Try the cake again so that you don't have to wonder anymore. If she does react to it then you can look further into what in particular about the stuff she is allergic too. The reason that I think she is not truly allergic is that you said the welts were on her hands and face, exactly where the stuff was rubbed and touched. Usually the feet might have welts also and the belly.

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

this might be a bad decision but ... try again vanilla only and wait for a day or so ... then try chocolate only the next day... only a suggestion. good luck.

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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

A.,
Whelps around the mouth with a food allergy can be very serious. My Granddaughter first got them when she was less than 2 yrs old. Was the icing on the cupcakes made with egg whites? It could be a higher concentration of some ingredient that caused the reaction this time.
Be very careful in watching for the Whelps, which can cause breathing difficulty. food allergies are one of the most difficult things to identify unless they have a reaction immediately and you track what they are eating. Keep benadryl handy.
Good Luck,
C.

J.H.

answers from Dallas on

This happens to my children too. If it disappears quickly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It happens to mine when they have ranch dressing, syrup, and cinnamon. As they get older, they don't get as much on them so it's not as much of an issue. Like one poster said, I just wash their faces quickly after eating those things.

G.R.

answers from Dallas on

if the cupcake has icing maybe was that my older son when the ranch dressing tocuh his face has red marks like rash and usually are gone within minutes

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M.T.

answers from Dallas on

I had these reactions when I was a child to certain foods that got on my face especially with ketsup. I was also born with a tiny bit of eczema. This redness reaction to the food stopped as I got older. It is most likely just skin sensitivity and I wouldn't get too carried away with allergy tests or cutting foods out of her diet unless you get more symptoms of real food allergies.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Please check for an allergy. Our oldest daughter had birthday cake when she was around 11 months at a friend's party and got red welts all around her mouth. We tested her for food allergies when she turned one and she was highly allergic to dairy. She had been nursing, so we didn't see the reaction from formula (she was a really, really fussy baby though, and I think that's part of it).

ANYWAY, your daughter could be allergic to any number of things in the cake: eggs, wheat, dairy, or even any spices. According to my allergist, the reactions seen in small kids are accumulative: a little here and there builds up and can lead to a very severe reaction later. Food allergies are just like bee stings, too: you have to have one exposure before you get a reaction.

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

It can be the chocolate. I had a chocolate allergy as a child but grew out of it. That's why children should not eat anything with chocolate the first 3 years. Also the caffeine is not good for them.

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

Our kids have ezcema, too. I noticed that tends to happen to them with some icing...not all. Was there icing on the cupcake?

We also have bad redness around the mouth when they eat ranch...wherever the ranch touches. And, like you said, it fades quickly.

It's obviously some sensitivity, but to what I'm not sure. They still get cupcakes and ranch. We just wash their hands and faces ASAP and know that the redness will disappear soon. It is becoming less common as they get older. It doesn't happen with the 7 yr old anymore. Hope this helps ease your worries.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

A.,
My 3 year had really bad eczema as a baby and every once in a while it will still flare up...and the same thing happens to her when she eats certain foods. Like the bar-b-q sauce from Chick-fil-a...when it gets on her skin it leaves like red blister things and then within like 10-20 mins they are gone. I try to stay away from things that do that to her skin because I always wonder what it is doing to her insides...but they never seem to hurt her. Best of luck.

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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

I'd check for allergies just to be on the safe side as well BUT, typically, an allergic reaction wouldn't go away on it's own after 10 minutes, so that may not be an issue here. My daughter had an interesting allergic scare last spring that turned out to be an overwhelming immune response and not allergies, but I learned a lot about allergies in the process. One night, we had dinner, nothing happened. Next night we had leftovers and the following morning, she was covered in hives. I took her to the Dr. who thought it might be an immune response to something and we ate the same leftovers again that night...about 30 minutes later I was giving her a bath and the area around her mouth started to swell and get red, this progressed up her cheeks and pretty soon her whole face was swollen. It scared me to DEATH!

Kids can eat foods repeatedly and then suddenly have allergic reactions one day to them. According to our allergist, you can be exposed to an allergen once and nothing might happen, a second time and get a bigger reaction, and a third time might be serious. Doesn't always happen that way but he was trying to explain what he initially thought was happening with our daughter.

Think about the ingredients of both the cake and frosting. Possible allergens include:
Wheat
Milk (butter cream frosting)
Eggs
Gluten
Chocolate
Soy
Nuts
Corn (corn syrup)

An allergist can run a basic panel that contains all of these for you just to make sure. It's good for peace of mind. We did a skin test on my daughter for all of those that I listed plus a few others at my request (dill, strawberries, oranges, several types of fish) because they were things she'd eaten around the time that her reaction happened, and they all came out negative. The answer for us is that our daughter had one cold after another thanks to daycare and her body's immune system over-reacted to something.

Also worth noting, they typically do not test for allergies until at least age 2 because they get a lot of false negatives until around then.

Hope this helps, good luck!

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

The same thing happened to my son on his 1st birthday. Was it colored icing? That was the culprit with us. It caused him to have red patches on his face wherever the icing was. It went away over a short time. He has not had the problem since then. It was the first time he had colored icing, so I think it was just the initial reaction.

Next question: New Food Allergy at 2 1/2