27 answers

Possible Food Allergy?

My 6 1/2 month old had sweet potatoes for the first time today. It went well, he got most of it in his tummy I think. After I wiped his face off, his chin area where a lot of the sweet potatoes were, was bright red and splotchy. Same thing on his hand where he had sweet potato on them. Is this a sign of a food allergy? He seemed to tolerate it well in every other way, he's not fussy and not having trouble breathing or anything. I wouldn't think sweet potatoes were a common food allergy. Would it make any difference that it's not a store bought food? I made it myself so it's just sweet potato and water. Just thought I would throw this out there to see if anyone else has experienced this.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I waited a while to give him sweet potatoes again, but when I did, his face didn't break out. That's the good news. The bad news is, he breaks out at other random foods that he's had many times before. It has happened with butternut squash, apples, acorn squash, and sometimes even after having a bottle of formula that drips down his chin. I spoke to my pediatrician and he doesn't think it is a food allergy since it happens with different foods, but not every time. He thinks that his skin is just sensitive, especially since he has a bit of eczema. So the only course of action he suggested was to put some vaseline on his face before he eats. This seems to help a little, but his cheeks are still constantly chapped looking. Hopefully this will all clear up after this dry winter is over.

Featured Answers

My son had horrible diaper rash after eating squash...another food with a small likelihood of allergies...but all foods have a possibility. I am holding off on trying squash for another 2 months and giving him things that I know showed no allergic reaction. We have a family history of alleries, so even a small reaction, I would take VERY seriously until it proves otherwise. So maybe hold off a month or two and try something else...maybe pears, applesauce or just rice cereal alone for the next month or so. remember, allergies can show up at any time. I have never had food allergies, but went to an allergist and found out I am questionably allergic to egg and baker's yeast!!! Who knew!

S., 25, mom of Tyrrone, 5 months, who has eczema and a milk sensitivity in my milk, but no allergies yet!!!

It is not an allergy, a reaction to the acid level. My daughter did this for the longest time with anything with tomatoes, like ketchup or tomato sauce. It is normal as their skin is super sensitive. If he had an allergy it would be full body. It is the acid some foods that causes this. Some kids get it even with applesauce.

More Answers

LOL! A skin sensitivity IS a food allergy. It just manifests on the skin instead of through an anphylactic response. It is still an allergic reaction. Also, I would be very cautious since repeated exposure to an allergenic food usually provokes a much more severe reaction. It sounds like your son is allergic to sweet potatoes, at least for now. He may grow out of it. I would not offer them until he is about a year old. There is no reason to give him a food he is allergic to when there are plenty of other foods available out there.

Also, if he is actually allergic to sweet potatoes, it doesn't matter whether it is homemade or jarred. As one poster noted, her daughter appears to be allergic to chemicals in bagged lettuce. In a case like that, if the baby has no reaction to non-commecial food, than it would be fine to feed them non-commercial food, and you know that he is not actually allergic to the food but rather to some kind of additive or preservitive. In your case, it seems obvious that he is allergic to the actual food, so it would be best to avoid it for a while.

Best of luck,

It is not an allergy, a reaction to the acid level. My daughter did this for the longest time with anything with tomatoes, like ketchup or tomato sauce. It is normal as their skin is super sensitive. If he had an allergy it would be full body. It is the acid some foods that causes this. Some kids get it even with applesauce.

My son gets this when he eats Ranch dressing! It's so weird. I finally asked the doctor about it, and he said it was simply a skin irritation. Obviously, there are more ingredients in Ranch that could cause this, but there must be some sort of protien in the sweet potato that irritates your baby's skin. My doctor said not to worry about it--it is not the kind of reaction that is considered a "food allergy"--so I have continued to give my son the Ranch dressing, and he has been fine. I would say the same probably goes for your baby, but maybe you should run it by your pediatrician just to be sure.

We had this problem with my one year with almost every food he ate. The problem persisted until he switched to "real" solids (not mushy). He never had any problem with any of the foods from a digestive stand point, and the redness and irritation didn't seem to be bothersome to him, though it sure bothered me! :) We would put plain chap stick (not any kind with menthol or anything) or similar around his mouth before feeding him - something to create a barrier between his skin and the food but that would not hurt him to ingest a little of it. This seemed to help but did not completely eliminate the problem.

As soon as he switched to true solids, the problem disappeared.


red splotchy's are def. a sign of a food allergy. it is strange that swt. potatoes would do that. i would try again in a week or so and see if the same thing happens. that's the beauty of feeding one food at a time, it's easy to tell. good luck!

my kids both had that reaction to orange vegetables, squashes, and apples. i just held off giving those to them for a few more months, then tried again. eventually their skin didn't react anymore. they both also have had redness with ranch dressing. i can't remember when my 4 yr old grew out of it, but my 2 yr old still gets redness. but it doesn't bother him, so if he asks for it, i let him have it.

My son had this happen when he had skin contact with tomatoes and strawberries. He had no other problems with them, and absolutely loved eating them My Ped. said it was simply contact dermatitis. Sure enough, when he got a little older he would get this reaction from playing in the grass and even when his clothes got wet (probably from the fabric softener in his clothes). In his case, it was purely a skin issue. He did outgrow it.

After having read all the responses you got, I would imagine you'd be quite confused. I have to laugh because there are so many different answers. My personal experience with the possible allergy reactions are the following: My first son, now 8, had a crazy reaction to possibly chestnuts that I had cooked in a thanksgiving stuffing. He was 1 year old and didn't have any problems with any of the other ingredients of the stuffing. So I just guessed. His reaction was not the splotches like you discribed but first a projectile vomiting about 20 min after ingesting the stuffing. Then lots of crying, and then 30 min later he had hives that litterly caused swelling under each "hive" and you could almost see them travel all over the body. It temporarly swelled his eye lids and made it hard for him to see. Now at this time I didn't know about benedryl to help this. I had to pump and dump my breast milk after deducing that this was still causing him more hives in the next 2-3 days. Poor little guy. Needless to say I don't cook with chestnuts and I don't really care for them anyway..
Now my youngest son, now 2, does have the splotches like you discribed. This happens when I give him bananas, every time. I've given him bananas probably 15 - 20 times and had had no other reactions from him. No hives, no bowel problems and no crying or other kinds of distress. I'm thinking that the enzimes in bananas and other foods are what causes the splotches. I think you just have to trust your instincts and just be on standby like all moms should be anyway, and check for other reactions and have benedryl strips on hand just in case. I have seen many moms drive themselves crazy with the food allergy craze. I think we just need to eat more whole foods and alot less processed foods. And be happy.

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.