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.

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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,
S.

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.

M.

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.

Hi!
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.

Yes, he has a sensitivity to sweet potatoes. Don't give him any more. It shouldn't make a difference that you made it yourself -- it's essentially the same either way. He may grow out of it, my son outgrew his citric acid sensitivity (discovered when he was 10 months, outgrown by 14 months). Talk to your doctor about whether and when you could try giving him sweet potatoes again.

Not uncommon. The natural color in the sweet potatoes dyes their skin. Carrots will do the same and then when they poop their little butts get dyed orange also.

My daughter went through all these food allergies and had the redness for months starting about 6 months. I took her to the Drs and they kept saying it was eczema. To find out she was allergic to something in the formula. The doctors took blood and sent it to the lab and I found out that mt dd was allergic to milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, and eggs. There is a cream that the allergist recommended called Vanicream you can get it at the pharmacy desk without a prescription. Its about 15.00 but it works great. It helped her from scratching at the break outs. What the Drs recommended to me about new foods with my dd was if your not sure if the rash is from the food wait til the rash clears up and try it again if the child breaks out again thenyou know not to give it to them again. I hope this helps and gl

It may not exactly be a food allergy as much as a skin sensitivity. Because it was not only his chin, but his hand that got irritated, it makes me think it's a skin issue. I don't suppose you noticed the inside of his mouth? Maybe give him another bite or two and check. If he's not sick at all, no changes in stool or behavior (besides stool color, of course) then it's probably more a skin issue. But there are plenty of other foods out there he can eat besides sweet potatoes. I would probably avoid them too. Mention it to his pediatrician at the next visit.

My daughter has had MANY allergies. Milk, wheat, fish, eggs, soy, peanuts, etc. The first sign of food allergies were hives on her face (chin area) with lots of itching and sneezing for 20 minutes. I am wondering if his skin just reacted since that's what happened when it was on those skin areas. But, to be on the safe side I would call the pediatricion to make sure. Better safe than sorry. My daughter has grown out of all of them except we are still careful on the milk/dairy and the fish and peanut ones are life threatening.

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!!!

I am not sure but try this web site out it may help you with any questions that you may have. Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. If you watched Celeberty Aprentece this is the one the country music singer Trace Adkins is for his daughter has food allergies. Hope this helps.

My daughter has the same type of reaction to bagged salad, some veggies and some fruits. I think that she's allergic to something they either spray on the food as a pesticide or a fertilizer or something. If I wash the above items really well she doesn't have a reaction. But the redness and blotchiness is an allergic response. I'd probably ask your doctor before serving it to him again but if you're up for trying it, just really, really scrub it and see if that helps.

HI!
It may be a slight reaction...my daughter did the EXACT same thing with spinach when she was a year old. Then she kinda out grew it. I never worried because it didn't effect anything but the skin, but you may want to watch closely as to where your's is so little still. If it wasn't effecting his breathing or anything else INTERNALLY, maybe try again to be sure? That's what we did. And we got the same reaction each time. I don't know if you would be able to tell if it itches her or not, if it does, I would stay away from it and introduce it at a later time. If it concerns you too much, I would ask your pediatrician. Good luck!
LT

I agree with Elizabeth that it's probably a sensitivity that he'll outgrow. You might use something to prevent a diaper rash when it's all done processing. Our son did the same thing with tomato paste (raw was okay). The diaper rash was horrible if we didn't protect. You can probably try sweet potatoes again in a few months. Gentle Naturals Baby Eczema Cream was great both for the face and to prevent the diaper rash.

HI D.,
I expect it is just a slight reaction to the citric acid and the natural enzymes in the sweet potato. I've seen recipes for home-made facials using apple sauce and sweet potatoes because the enzymes promote exfoliation. My daughter gets this same blotchyness (is that even a word? :) on her face after some foods, especially apple sauce. The first few times it happened, I was very nervous because my husband has several allergies but the spots always go away after an hour or so with no trouble. But if you are still nervous about it, be sure to talk to your pediatrician. :) Take care - have fun with your little guy!

Food allergies can develop to any food at all, no matter how healthy. Sweet potatoes are certainly a super food, but that does not make them allergy-proof. Sounds like your little one may have had a reaction. This is how my little one's food allergies started. So now you know what to look for.

What to do next? First off, don't give sweet potatoes again for a year. Perhaps baby will develop no other sensitivities, but now that you know what to look for you will want to keep an eye out for reactions to other foods and perhaps to avoid the common allergens at least for another six months.

Best of luck!

Sometimes it is just a exposure to skin issue and no other signs will show. My mom actually can eat citrus fruit but if she touches her face after having citrus on her hands she will get a rash.

The way you prepared the sweet potatoes was probably the best way you could have, that is supposed to be the way the baby food is prepared too. (very simple)

I wouldn't worry to much however I would watch him and when you try the next time try feeding him without the messyness-I know that will be a tough one;)

Good luck- Some foods have coloring that kids are allergic to. I use to feed my children lots of squash, yellow and orange foods and their actual skin pigment turn orangy because of all the betacarotine- the Doctor said it wasn't a big deal, however this wasn't a rash.

My daughter's skin does that with food like Ranch dressing and peanut butter. It's nothing to worry about. Just because it irratates the skin a bit doesn't mean it's an allergy. My doctor said it nothing to be concerned over. Good luck. Mention it to your Ped. at your next visit.

Hi D.- It's not likely (though possible) that sweet potatoes could have caused an allergy. Food allergies tend to stem from the major ones: wheat, soy, corn, milk and nuts. It could be just that it's a first food and a shock to have anything else other than breastmilk/formula in his system. Askdrsears.com has some great advice about what to look for in allergies and many are surprising--a diaper rash/redness will tell you a lot. I would hold off on sweet potatoes, try bananas and apples--and maybe give him sweet potatoes (and only sweet potatoes) again in a few weeks and see if it happens again. Best of luck!

My daughter did the same with Spinach and I never figured out for sure what it meant. Hope to learn more through your post.

D.
FTWM with two kids (4, 6 mo) live in Westminster; check out www.meetup.com Westminster Whole Food Nutrition group

This happened when my son had pineapple and our homeopathic physician said it was a sure indication of an allergic reaction. If so, he has grown out of it. We were very careful with foods as our son had several instances of exzema, so watch for a rash elsewhere on your babe's body as well.

Usually, a person will show signs of an allergy/sensitivity to something after the second exposure. Rashes/excema can be an external sign of an allergy or sensitivity. Your pediatrician would be a great person to ask about this.

I just read some of your other past questions... Are you familiar with biofeedback? I own a health and allergy center and I use biofeedback, specifically Asyra AT3 (www.asyra.com) and it is extremely accurate. It would let you know in a safe and non-invasive way what sensitivities your child has. A complete evaluation can be done in about two minutes. I'm sure there is a provider in your area that could answer some of your questions. If you are interested in driving to Lone Tree, CO, I'd be happy to help you. Our office number is ###-###-####.

Good luck!

Definitly takes this redness and rash seriosly. Our little guy had the same reaction to baby foods that were orange colored. He was born with exzema and had food allergies when he was under a year old. Also even though he didn't show any signs of tummy upset or anything else other than the rash, it would take about seven days for these symptoms to appear. I would not feed him anything orange tinted for another 2 1/2 months. And not bananas either.

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