15 answers

Skin Reaction to Dairy Products

My 8 1/2 month old son gets hives when dairy products touch his skin. I accidentally spilled milk from cereal on him a few months ago and he broke out in hives where the milk touched him. The pediatrician thought it was probably nuts or something else in the cereal that caused the reaction. Just the other day I tried to feed my son some cottage cheese and he broke out in hives wherever the cottage cheese touched his skin. Ingesting the cottage cheese did not seem to bother him; obviously I am going to stay away from dairy for the time being. The hives went away after about 20 minutes. I plan to ask the pediatrician at his 9 month appointment, but has anyone had a similar experience?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

He's allergic. Humans are not meant to eat dairy any way. We don't need it. There are plenty of alternatives. Dont worry.

More Answers

Sounds to me like your child has a milk allergy. This is extremely common. You may not suspect problems with him eating the milk products but he may be reacting in ways you don't know yet. Allergies can show themselves in a variety of ways. Hives is one way. So is infections of any kind, fatigue, irriatability, behavior problems, breathing problems, and weak immune system thus frequent colds or flu. My allergy symptoms are swollen glands and choking. Severe reactions can lead to shock and death. Your child can live without dairy. Try soy or rice milk products instead. A visit to an allergy doctor might be wise. AF

Hi T.
From personal experience you may think that your little man doesn't react to the dairy products because you can't see any hives on the outside but there are internal hives. So I would stay away from dairy products and try soy or rice. He may grow out of it which I am hoping my son will do w/his allergies since he started so young. A lot of times that is what will happen. W/myself I started hives @ 13yrs old and continue to suffer w/them. I wish you all the luck on this and hope that all the advice given will help you. I know how important our child's health is to us. L.:0)

I don't know why some doctors don't believe babies can be allergic to milk (I had one for my son who thought I was crazy!), but it's a very common allergy that shows itself in different ways. My son can't ingest it, he breaks out in hives and has horrible stomache problems. The skin reaction that your son is having sounds like my little guys corn allergy. Anything with corn syrup as a main ingredient that touches his skin (bbq sauce, sweet and sour, some syrup) causes immediate hives wherever it touches. However, he has never had a reaction to ingesting it! We just avoid all of those now, because his doctor said that the more he is exposed to the allergen, the worse his reaction may be each time!

I have the same problem with my 11 month old. I've been tring to figure it out as well. I breast feed so I'm staying away from dairy products as well. cheese, yogart, milk touches his skin he breaks out. He has sensitive skin problems anyway.

My now 13yo had the same thing, severe skin reactions to sour cream dropped on his arm at 6mo. He was allergic to milk protein. He also had hives and swelling, vomitting, and itching when ingested when he began eating solids. We had to check labels very carefully and make seperate meals (hassle, but worth his health).

He did outgrow the allergy shortly after he turned 6yo. He now eats ice cream, but only milk if its flavored and hardly any cheese. Since starting off without it all, he doesn't like the taste, but now, at least it won't hurt him anymore.

I have not had this particular issue, but my son is allergic to peanuts. If I were you, I'd take your son to an Alergist and have him tested no matter what. If it is a food sensitivity/allergy and he ingests or touches milk it will only make the situation worse in the long run. My son see's an Allergist in Purcillville, at the Allergy, Asthma and Sinus center. They have been great and very thorough. I know they also have an office in Leesburg too. Good luck.I hope you get some answers.

C. G

Stop the dairy until you see your doctor. There are contact allergies to dairy and some are quite serious. Ask your pediatrician for a referral to an allergist for testing now. Keep a food journal and write everything down(foods and reactions if any)until you see the allergist. This will save you from having to make another appointment. Good luck.

Hi T.,

Check the web for alterntives to diary products for infants.

There is soy, rice and almond milks.

Hope this helps. D.

Hi T.,
An immediate reaction like that is very serious. My son has the same problem with pears and walnuts. Please contact your pediatrican and an allergist that works with children about getting your son tested for a milk protien allergy. Also, when he does have a reaction, give him Benedryl as soon as possible. It will help keep the reaction in control.

He's allergic. Humans are not meant to eat dairy any way. We don't need it. There are plenty of alternatives. Dont worry.

Your son may be allergic to milk. I have a 13 month old who is allergic to milk, wheat, corn and soy. I noticed that he was breaking out and the hives would go away after about 20 minutes. But it would come back on a regular basis. I took him to an allergist and had an allergy profile done on him which gave the results that he is allergic to milk, wheat, corn and soy. Initially he was on Enfamil baby formula, but that is milk based. His allergist prescribed a formula for children who are allergic to milk and other things. I have been giving him that substitue as well as watching what he eats (i.e. reading the ingredients of anything I feed him to make sure what he is allergic to is not present) and he has gotten much better with breaking out.

My oldest son gets a skin reaction to dairy. But he can't ingest it either. I'm very surprised that your son is OK with ingesting it. If my son ingests milk product his face puffs up and he vomits. We carry an epipen as well but we've never had to use it. I'd get your son tested by an allergist. Be sure to have the blood test as well as the scratch test. Allergy testing is not an exact science. I found that both results were skewed. For example, the allergist told me my son was severly allergic to soy and peanuts as well. He'd been guzzling soy for months (since he couldn't have cow milk) and was completely fine. We ended up doing a food challenge with peanut butter and he was fine with that too... but he is severly allergic to any milk protein. Back to the skin reaction, it's not as bad as it was (my son is now 6 1/2) but it used to be that if my husband had touched cheese and then touched my son on the arm, you'd see his hand print in hives... and just like with your son it would go away in 20 min. There is a lot of support out there for people with food allergies. If you find out your son should stay away from dairy and you want some food advice please feel free to respond back to me. I can give you tips for restaurants you can visit and many food brands you can look for.

Hi T.,

Yes... the same thing happended with my son. The first time I tried regular formula with him (5 months old) he didn't like it, screamed/cried and spit it out. Whereever it touched his skin, it turned bright red and had what looked like hives on the area. I ended up using soy formula with him. Then when he was one, I tried introducing milk and the same thing happened (red/hives). So I held off on the milk and talked with my doctor. He said I could see the allergist to have him tested. It turned out that he was not allergic to cow's milk. However, the allergist asked if he had eczema on his face. He did, and the allergist said that milk products can really irritate skin affected by eczema. Once my son was regularly drinking milk, it stopped bothering his skin and hasn't had any problems since then. Good Luck to you!

Don't forget, you are the mom and you know your child the best and you know what is best for your child. Most doctors are not trained in dietetics and do not know a lot about food allergies and intolerances. Sounds like you already have your answer. If your doctor does not work with you or "believe" you on this, please find another doctor. I have been down this road with my own children and myself. Also, find an allergist if you feel you need to but I think you already know your answer to completely stay away from cow's milk. You can try soy or rice milk. Soy milk is very good. Two of my three boys drink it b/c of their miolk intolerances. Rice milk is very easy to cook with too! I wish you the best!

My daughter is 9 now,but when she was around 1.She could not drink milk.And also certain foods like ketchen,pumpkin pie and some other things she would get hives on her face and hands.Any place the food had touched her.But now at 9 she can drink milk and eat anything without getting hives.Your son may grow out of it.But just you case.Maybe you should ask your doctor to do an allergy test on him to make sure he doesnt have serious allergies.I hope everything works out for you.

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