ZocdocAnswersCan certain foods cause rashes to appear on legs?

Question

Can certain foods cause rashes to appear on legs?

Is it possible that rashes on your legs can be caused by a food allergy? My son is 13, so his rashes could be caused by just about anything (poison ivy, acne, etc.), but I want to make sure that I'm not poisoning him. What is the right way to test for an allergic reaction?

Answer

Food allergies can be serious and should always be evaluated by a physician such as a family doctor, or in severe situations an allergist. In the case of an unidentified rash, a dermatologist would also be a qualified physician to see your son. Food allergies typically cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, swollen lips, and an itchy skin rash known as hives. Hives tend to only appear after the allergen has been encountered, but usually are gone a short time later. They usually don't end up in the exact same location. Common culprits include peanuts, eggs, milk, seafood, and soy. Food allergies are test for by a certified allergist and include the skin prick test and the so called RAST test. I suggest that you schedule an appointment to have your son see his pediatrician. He can take a look at the rash and determine what the etiology is. If it looks like poison ivy, they he may be prescribed a steroid cream. If it is acne, he may be given some acne medicine or get referral to a dermatologist. If the rash is diagnosed as hives, then your son may warrant a referral to an allergist for food allergy testing.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.