What Is Salicylate Allergy?
Salicylates are found in plants. They’re a natural ingredient in many fruits, vegetables, and spices. Synthetic salicylates are a major ingredient in aspirin and other pain-relieving medications. Natural and synthetic salicylates also are in many common health and beauty products.
Salicylate Allergy Symptoms
These vary but may include:
- Asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing and trouble breathing
- Nasal congestion
- Changes in skin color
- Itching, skin rash, or hives
- Swelling of the hands, feet, and face
- Stomach pain or upset
- Nasal polyps
- Runny nose
- Intestinal inflammation
In severe cases, a salicylate allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction that is an emergency. But this is rare in the case of salicylate allergy.
The content of salicylates can vary from one item to another and even among batches of the same item from the same source. Some people are more sensitive to these chemicals than others. People with a low tolerance may have an allergic reaction if they get more than a small amount of salicylate.
Salicylate Allergy Causes and Risk Factors
It’s not clear exactly what causes salicylate allergy. Allergies in general happen when the immune system reacts to a food or other substance. This immune reaction leads to inflammation and other symptoms.
You're at higher risk of salicylate allergy if:
What to Avoid
If you’re allergic to salicylates, you’ll need to avoid items that have them.
They're in a variety of foods, medications, and cosmetics, including:
|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
Herbs, spices, and condiments such as dry spices and powders, tomato pastes and sauces, vinegar, and soy sauce, jams, and jellies
Drinks 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
Artificial food coloring and flavoring