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    Salicylate Allergy

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    Salicylates are chemicals found naturally in plants and are a major ingredient in aspirin and other pain-relieving medications. They are also found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as in many common health and beauty products.

    What Are the Symptoms of a Salicylate Allergy?

    The degree of reaction to salicylates can vary based on multiple factors. Typically, the content of salicylates can vary from one item to another and even among batches of the same item from the same source. Additionally, the degree of salicylate sensitivity can vary from person to person. People with a low salicylate tolerance may have an allergic reaction if more than a small amount of salicylate is consumed. Symptoms of a salicylate allergy vary but may include:

    In severe cases, a salicylate allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction involving a severe drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and organ system failure. Avoiding products that contain salicylates is the best defense against an allergic reaction.

    Salicylates can be found in a variety of foods, medications, and cosmetics. Some examples of salicylate-containing substances include:

    Foods That Contain Salicylates Products That May Contain Salicylates Salicylate-Containing Ingredients
    Fruits such as apples, avocados, blueberries, dates, kiwi fruit, peaches, raspberries, figs, grapes, plums, strawberries, cherries, grapefruit, and prunes

    Vegetables such as alfalfa, cauliflower, cucumbers, mushrooms, radishes, broad beans, eggplant, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, and hot peppers

    Some cheeses

    Herbs, spices, and condiments such as dry spices and powders, tomato pastes and sauces, vinegar, and soy sauce, jams, and jellies

    Beverages such as coffee, wine, beer, orange juice, apple cider, regular and herbal tea, rum, and sherry

    Nuts such as pine nuts, peanuts, pistachios, and almonds

    Some candies, such as peppermints, licorice, and mint-flavored gum and breath mints

    Ice cream, gelatin

    Fragrances and perfumes

    Shampoos and conditioners

    Herbal remedies

    Cosmetics such as lipsticks, lotions, and skin cleansers

    Mouthwash and mint-flavored toothpaste

    Shaving cream

    Sunscreens or tanning lotions

    Muscle pain creams

    Alka Seltzer


    Acetylsalicylic acid

    Artificial food coloring and flavoring


    Beta-hydroxy acid

    Magnesium salicylate



    Salicylic acid


    Phenylethyl salicylate

    Sodium salicylate


    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on May 18, 2014
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