Sometimes, the food you love most can make you sick! Many plants can cause allergic reactions, even the common ones like tomatoes. Though it’s rare, many people experience adverse health effects from eating tomatoes, like skin allergy or intolerance. Mainly, what does tomato plant rash look like?
A tomato plant rash is likely an allergy from contact dermatitis. It causes the skin to become red, itchy, inflamed, and sometimes painful. Still, it can be a food allergy, and the rash occurs near the mouth, causing swelling and breathing problems. Usually, the rash is uncomfortable and not fatal.
But if the symptoms worsen, it’s always best to seek medical help.
Here, learn more about the tomato plant rash- causes, diagnosis, and possible treatments.
What Does Tomato Plant Rash Look Like?
People allergic to tomatoes experience a rash on their skin shortly after contact. The skin turns red, accompanied by extreme itching and inflammation.
Tomatoes can grow nearly anywhere in the world and are for various purposes. You can consume tomatoes when raw or cooked, depending on your preference.
Fortunately, there are wide varieties to grow or buy, considering the nutrient contents and size in most cases. However, tomatoes commonly elicit allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
Usually, tomato plant rash is mild, or it can be highly severe, causing so much discomfort. Severe reactions include breathing problems, nausea, hives, vomiting, wheezing, and runny nose.
With early diagnosis, it’s easy to treat the tomato plant rash. Nonetheless, your body needs to build antibodies to stabilize the tomato proteins. The best approach would also be to avoid the fruit, cooked or raw.
How Long Does Tomato Plant Rash Last?
If you are allergic to tomatoes, the rash appears within 24 hours. The allergic reaction lasts a maximum of 10 days and disappears on its own. But, you’ll need relief from the severe itching, burning, and inflammation.
Like animals, plants also have their defenses for protection. Usually, not everyone reacts to the oil or sap from the plants except the sensitive ones.
If you touch the tomato plant leaves, an allergic reaction occurs, showing a red, swollen, itchy, blistering rash called allergic contact dermatitis.
Can Tomatoes Cause A Rash?
Yes. Tomatoes cause a skin rash from two things- contact dermatitis or food allergy. These causes are from touching or ingesting the tomato.
Let’s take an in-depth look and diagnosis these causes of tomato plant rash. Some people may also ask, what does an allergic reaction look like?
Contact dermatitis is when the skin turns red, itchy, and inflamed just by touching the allergen- tomatoes.
In this case, your skin is likely reacting to the peel, pulp proteins, or smell compounds.
Tomato contact dermatitis is rare and forms red itchy blisters on the face. First, it appears on parts that came in contact with tomatoes, like the hands when eating, cooking, or gardening. It shows up shortly after contact in about 24 to 72 hours.
It would be best to talk to a doctor if you experience a rash after touching or eating tomatoes. Generally, it’s not dangerous but uncomfortable.
A definitive diagnosis to contact dermatitis is performing a patch test. The doctor places a patch of the allergen (tomato) on your skin and waits to see any reaction.
The patch stays on the skin for a few days, allowing enough time to form any reaction. Usually, patch testing works best if the doctor can’t distinguish the exact cause of the contact dermatitis.
Additionally, the doctor would want to find out how the rash started, feels, where it’s on the body, and the triggers.
Sometimes, your body reacts when you eat a specific type of food, causing a food allergy. So, your body assumes the food is a health risk and forms a defensive mechanism of causing allergic reactions. The food allergy caused by tomatoes happens after consuming several proteins in the plant.
Common food allergy symptoms include a skin rash that occurs shortly after 2 minutes up to two hours of consumption. This skin rash is called hives and looks like red-walled small bumps near the mouth.
Typically, a doctor tests for food allergy if the skin rash also comes with breathing problems, swelling, and gastrointestinal problems.
The doctor also asks about your food history before taking a blood test, showing if specific food antibodies are present.
Also, the doctor can decide to take a test by pricking the skin a little bit on the back or arm using a probe containing the food allergen.
The tests are only itchy and not painful but can’t show the severity of the allergy.
If you’re unsure of which food causes the allergic reactions, it would be best to keep a food diary to help track down what you eat. This way, you’ll know what produces the symptoms of an allergy.
Why Do Tomatoes Give You A Rash?
Tomatoes give you a rash to show the negative impact it has from contact or consumption. Skin rash is the first prevalent symptom that can accompany other problems depending on the cause.
Regardless of the several health benefits that tomatoes provide, some people must stay away from tomatoes. This is because eating tomatoes cause a high risk of allergic reactions.
When it comes to the rash, the tomato forms a mediated reaction. This is when there’s a typical food allergy presentation, like hives or itchiness. Tomato rash from mediated reaction also comes from pollen cross-reactivity.
A non-mediated reaction also gives a rash from contact dermatitis. Usually, tomato leaves can cause a rash when sensitive people touch them. It may be a defensive mechanism or an allergic reaction to sensitive skin.
How to Treat Tomato Plant Rash
It’s possible to treat tomato plant rash using various approaches. All the approaches depend on the severity and cause of the rash.
Always, seek medical help right away if the rash is severe and comes with other health problems.
Here’s how to treat the allergic rash;
- If it’s sure you’re reacting to tomatoes, avoid consuming the fruit and going near the plant to prevent contact. But if you are still unsure, you should avoid eating the fruit temporarily to check if the rash reappears.
- To prevent the urge of endless itching, use an anti-lotion to apply to the affected area. Preferably, calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream are ideal choices.
- Reduce the pain and swelling using an over-the-counter antihistamine, like Benadryl.
- When the rash occurs, immediately use a cool, wet cloth and press the rash for about 30 minutes. Do this like three times daily.
- To avoid scratching the area from over itching, you should cover it.
- Take a cold bath using a solution of water, baking soda, or an oatmeal-based product.
- Wear protective gear like gloves, overalls, masks, and goggles when tending to your tomato garden. This way, you don’t have an exposed body part that may come into direct contact with the plant to cause the rash.
When should you go to the doctor?
See a doctor immediately if;
- You can’t sleep or do your usual errands because of the discomfort from the rash.
- The rash is painful and spreads to other parts.
- You don’t want people seeing the rash because you feel embarrassed.
- It’s been weeks, and the rash is not improving.
- The rash is on your genitals.
Tips for Avoiding Tomato Rash
- Avoid most canned soups. Usually, the soups contain tomato products to add flavor and consistency. Better still, check the ingredients before eating any canned soup.
- Order beef dishes with extreme caution. Again, tomatoes are standard in these dishes to enhance the taste of the sauce.
- Be cautious when eating any red thing you aren’t sure of the preparation or didn’t do it yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s The Difference Between Allergy and Intolerance?
An allergy is an aftermath of eating a trigger food; symptoms can be mild or severe. Intolerance is the extent of the aftermath, which is proportional to the amount of trigger food you eat. So, the more you eat, the intolerance level is also high.
Can You Be Allergic To Tomatoes And Not Ketchup?
An actual tomato allergy requires you to avoid all tomato products like ketchup. But ketchup may not be a problem for people with tomato intolerance because you take it in small quantities.
Is Tomato Allergy Rare?
Tomato allergy is about 1.5% to 20% globally; hence very rare. But, it’s common in places with foodborne allergies, like Italy and Germany.
A general question for tomato farmers and consumers is; what does tomato plant rash look like?
While it’s rare, there’s a possibility of being allergic to tomatoes. Though, many people don’t know that they are primarily intolerant or somewhat allergic to tomatoes after consumption.
As observed above, the tomato rash is not an alarming symptom. Even so, it can be life-threatening if it drags along other worse symptoms that distort your daily routine. Still, the rash alone can be very uncomfortable.
Even with treatment available, the best approach would be to prevent the rash in the first place.