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Shrimp allergy, but only from skin contact?

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Old 12-09-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
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Shrimp allergy, but only from skin contact?

I have had pretty serious allergies all of my life. When I get my skin tests, the nurse usually freaks out at the size of the reaction to. . . everything. Well, everything except foods. I have no known food allergies (although I suspect an allergy to pineapple because my tongue numbs when I eat it).

In any case, I've never had a problem eating shellfish of any kind. Have eaten them since I was a child and am in my 30's now. But, last night I spent about an hour peeling and deveining some raw shrimp. My hands felt like they were on fire, but I thought it was in my head. When I finally went to wash up, I had broken out in hives all the way up my arm. Yet, we ate those same shrimp tonight and I had NO reaction.

I'm curious if anyone else has ever experienced anything like this or knows what the cause could be. Is it possible to have that sensitive a skin allergy but then be able to ingest the food without consequence? Is it maybe because I'm allergic to raw shrimp, but cooking it changes the properties and I don't have issues with it? Just seems so strange. . .

I have to admit I was a little nervous to try eating them tonight because of the reaction yesterday. But against my better judgement, and being that I've eaten shrimp throughout my life with absolutely no reaction, I didn't really think it was likely I would have a major reaction. And thankfully I didn't, but I'm not sure what to think now.

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Old 12-10-2012, 04:02 AM   #2
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Re: Shrimp allergy, but only from skin contact?

FOr the pineapple issue, look up Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). SOund like that may be what you have instead of a true allergy.

As for the shrimp, I always get itchy if I shell too many shrimp - more than a pound. I would think it's more the shells. If they were bleached by the supplier, which many are these days, that could also be the cause.

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