Is Cinnamon a Skin Irritant or Are We Looking at an Allergy?

Updated on December 07, 2011
K.A. asks from San Diego, CA
15 answers

Today my son put some cinnamon sugar on his waffles for breakfast. My 2 1/2 year old helped put his plate in the sink when he was done and decided to sit there and lick all the cinnamon sugar off the plate first. She then came in to tell me I needed to clean her up as she had it all over her face and hands. It could not have been there for more than a couple minutes at most. I got a wet paper towel to clean her off and found her skin to be bright red and splotchy. In the time it took me to take her upstairs to change her diaper which she also took the same time to tell me was poopy she was scratching at it some. After I changed her diaper I washed her face with soap and water. It still looks all splotchy and red and it's been a little while now. Her hands are a little red too. It has faded some and she appears to not be scratching at it anymore.
My son tends to go heavy on the cinnamon in comparison to the sugar (I know..you'd think it were the other way around LOL).
Is cinnamon just a natural skin irritant or could she be allergic?

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J.K.

answers from Phoenix on

All my kids do this and they don't seem to be allergic to cinnamon. I think he's probably fine if that's the only "symptom."

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A.F.

answers from Houston on

Cinnamon can be an irritant - it can cause superficial burns. I've only known one person with a cinammon allergy and it caused respiratory issues for her - not just skin.

If your daughter ate some and isn't having breating issues, I wouldn't worry too too much. Maybe wait and see.

Does she have a history of sensitive skin?

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M.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Absolutely both! My pedi said if it was just blotchy and slightly itchy, it was probably just the 'burn', but any other symptoms would indicate a slight to however severe allergy. Watch for hives (not just itching) or any breathing problems, aside from that, it's probably just irritating.

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K.L.

answers from Savannah on

My son loves cinnamon, but when it gets on his face and is not wiped off quickly, he gets red spots where it was touching him. That is our experience with it and my son just turned one.

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B.C.

answers from Dallas on

Oh yes! Skin irritant. Ranch dressing and cinnamon always turn my kids splotchy for a couple of hours.

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J.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

my daughter had that same thing happen with fresh cinnamon, shes not allergic, although she is allergic to strawberries. Id stay away from it for a little then try something with it J. as an ingredient and not fresh

R.B.

answers from La Crosse on

When my 4yr old was about 2 we went to Taco Bell and we got him some of the cinnamon twists. After eating a few a little bit later his face broke out like you described. Then it faded. A few weeks later not even thinking about it we put cinnamon on his pancakes. Same thing happened.

We set him up with the dermatologist and they did all the allergy tests on him. They said he could have been allergic to the skin.. irrataed.. but it wasn't a system allergy. ( if that makes sense)

We were just careful to what we gave him from that point on. About 6 months ago my mom gave him some cinnamon on his french toast with out me realzing it until after he was done. He didnt' break out from it. He has since had other things with it in it/ on it an he has been fine. So he out grew it.

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K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I've seen this around my 2 yo daughter's mouth when I tried putting a little cinnamon in her oatmeal. I'm not sure if I made the connection at the time, but reading your post reminded me.

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D.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

Could be an allergy to the cinnamon oil causing contact dermatitis (rash). If it's still itchy try Caladryl lotion.

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K.S.

answers from Bloomington on

I'd say an allergy. One that might be only skin deep so to speak. In other words she might be able to eat it, not have loose stools etc. Only break out where it touches her etc.

But probably an allergy.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

It could be a sensitivity to the spice. Try to keep her away from it when brother has it.

Este Lauder had Cinnabar and it was great but I did develop a rash and had to stop wearing it in any form.

Ask your doctor.

The other S.

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

both. plus, cinnamon is a laxative...FYI. I learned that the hard way :)

R.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

It sounds like an allergic reaction. See how she does if she comes into contact with it again, or if she eats it and do let her doctor know. My cousin loves the smell of cinnamon but gets violently ill if she eats it, and has been told not to even use products on her skin that include it. I have been told the same things about bananas and avocados which I am allergic to, so it really is best to seek her doctor's advice.

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H.W.

answers from Portland on

It is a skin irritant. I don't think I've seen it as bad as what you are describing, though.

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

there was a girl at my son's daycare that was allergic to cinnamon so it is possible.

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