Can a shellfish allergy cause chapped lips?

Like any food allergy, an allergy to shellfish is the result of your immune system’s mis-identification of certain proteins found in shellfish. When you eat shellfish to which you are allergic, your body thinks that certain protein is harmful, when it really isn’t. Then your body releases antibodies to get rid of the protein. The antibodies then release other chemicals that cause allergy symptoms you may be familiar with. Histamine is the chemical that causes many of these symptoms, including rashes, hives and those that can be mistaken for a cold.

People with shellfish allergies commonly suffer from allergy symptoms, including hives, hives, eczema, wheezing, congestion, difficulty breathing, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and dizziness. Although chapped lips don’t seem to be a common symptom of shellfish allergy, swollen lips, face, tongue and throat are often associated with shellfish allergies, as is a tingling sensation in the mouth. A rare but serious reaction called anaphylaxis has also been linked to shellfish allergies.

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Most shellfish allergies appear only in older children and adults. They can be caused by foods you previously had no problem eating. Shellfish can be divided into several categories, and each type of shellfish has a different protein. So some people with shellfish allergies are only sensitive to certain types of shellfish, meaning they can eat other types of shellfish. Meanwhile, others should avoid all types of shellfish. Doctors have several ways to narrow down the type of shellfish you are allergic to. One way is to eliminate foods from your diet and then reintroduce them to see if anything causes you to react. They may also perform a skin test to see which shell protein you respond to. Blood tests are also available.

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