Author: Dr. Scott Sicherer

Can Someone With a Nut Allergy React to Mangoes or Peppercorns?

Q: Testing has confirmed that our 4-year-old is allergic to cashews and pistachios. (We visited an allergist after our daughter’s reaction to one cashew, in which her eye and lips became swollen and she got hives.) I’m unclear about what other foods she’ll need to avoid. While those are the only nuts she tested allergic to, I’ve read that cashews are in the sumac family, along with mangoes and peppercorns. Will she need to avoid those too?

Why Does Asthma Put a Food-Allergic Child at a Higher Risk of Anaphylaxis?

Q: Why does asthma put a child with food allergies at higher risk of anaphylaxis than other children with food allergies? Dr. Sicherer: Asthma is a condition in which the airways narrow, become inflamed and make extra mucus. There are many triggers of asthma including airborne allergens, exercise, infections, smoke, cold air, and others. Foods… Read more »

Is It Safe For Those With Shellfish Allergies To Consume Sea Salt?

Q: I’m a chef and often serve food to allergic customers. Is it safe for those with shellfish allergies to consume sea salt? I’ve read that it can contain a microscopic type of shellfish.  Dr. Sicherer: Sea salt differs from table salt primarily because sea salt is evaporated from seawater rather than refined from mined salt.… Read more »

What causes hives to appear in a food-allergic reaction?

Q: Why do we get hives in a food-allergic reaction? And will they always appear?  Dr. Sicherer: Hives, also called urticaria, develop when allergy cells in the skin release chemicals, including histamine, that cause localized swelling, redness and itching. The response looks like a series of mosquito bites, often across an expanse of skin, but various… Read more »