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Skin Allergy to Coffee


I think I may have developed a skin allergy to coffee. Has this happened to anyone else out there? I'll give it up if I have to but I'd rather not! Food allergies are hard to isolate, so it could even be something else. My doctor says it's dermatitis and there's pretty much nothing I can do about it. I don't like that answer very much and am willing to eliminate foods if it seems reasonable that they could be the cause.

Lyndsay from Albany, NY



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By Emma Reed 3 24 02/27/2008 Flag

Your doctor says it's dermatitis and you think it's coffee. What makes you think it's coffee? Surely you ingest a lot of other things during the day. My dad developed a very disgusting rash on his arms and part of one leg. Later it moved around his underwear area & the other leg. The dermatologist said it was either dermatitis or lichen simplex and gave him a soapless skin wash and some kind of salve. Sometimes a doctor just doesn't know what's wrong. I do know that you can develop allergies at any time of life. An allergist would probably tell you to eliminate any suspected foods or drinks for several weeks and then reintroduce them back into your diet one at a time and see if one might be the culprit.

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By Shellee (Guest Post) 02/27/2008 Flag

I'm allergic to gluten/wheat, dairy and eggs, and I didn't have dermatitis, I had boils (which are not fun!). My best friend has a skin allergy reaction when she eats tomatoes. Eliminate coffee for 2 weeks (acquire a taste for English Breakfast Tea, which is delicious with cream and sugar) and see if your skin clears up - if it does, it's the coffee, if not, it's something else. If that happens, start eliminating things you eat every day (wheat/gluten, dairy, tomatoes, nuts, etc) for 2 weeks each until your skin clears. Good luck!

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By Lyndsay (Guest Post) 02/28/2008 Flag

I'm thinking coffee because I realized after eating high acid foods it is worse. So I began keeping track of what I eat every day, and coffee is the only acidic thing I have every single day. I just wondered if anyone else out there has discovered this too.

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By LuvMyGingerKids 46 316 02/28/2008 Flag

An allergist can test you to see if coffee is indeed the culprit. Don't stop with your regular doctor, ask for a referral to an allergy specialist.

Here's a really good link on dermatitis, etc.

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02/28/2008 Flag

The most definitive test for delayed food allergies is blood test called the IgG ELISA test.

Most people have delayed reactions to foods they are allergic to versus the immediate reaction to single foods that often can be life threatening. Think peanuts, eggs, strawberries and the like.

Delayed food allergies can be persistent and annoying and take a toll on your health.

This test can be done by independent labs via mail as well as through your doctor. It's expensive, but most insurance companies will cover it. Also, labs offer a choice for the number of foods tested, usually 48 or 96 foods.

Hope this helps.

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By suzin (Guest Post) 02/28/2008 Flag

There is a skin rash some people get from eating gluten. You might check out and see if it tells about it on that site.

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By Brenda Eicher 1 1 02/28/2008 Flag

I have heard of other coffee drinkers complain about a rash however, it ends up that it is what they are placing into the coffee. Do you drink it black or not. My bet is you do not.

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By hilljillie (Guest Post) 03/01/2008 Flag

I believe that dermatitis can be caused by coffee. My brother discovered it by accident. He had terrible itchy patches on his hands, and all the creams rx'd by the doc didn't help much. One day for no specific reason he decided to quit coffee--skin problems dissappeared. My father also had the same cronic problem (he drank it black), but passed away before my brother found his cure.

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By Kat (Guest Post) 03/24/2008 Flag

I think its coffee. Sometimes my skin gets red blemishes and spots when I drink coffee. If I dont drink acidic drinks (Coffee and Softdrinks) I get clear skin.

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By Lyndsay (Guest Post) 03/28/2008 Flag

For anyone researching something similar in the future, I am down to one cup of coffee weekdays, and none on the weekends, and it definitely has made a difference in my skin. I am almost totally cleared up. To Shellee who suggested English breakfast tea many thanks! I've tried a couple of different brands and found one I like best. With a little sugar and cream it reminds me of the first tea I ever had as a little girl. Delicious!

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By ca (Guest Post) 04/17/2008 Flag

juz wanna check. could coffee possibly cause outbreaks? i.e. acnes and pimples on face?

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By Kelly (Guest Post) 01/15/2009 Flag

I'm wondering if Lindsay ever found out for certain whether her skin problems were from coffee. I am suspecting the same thing myself. I have been diagnosed with eczema / psoriasis and I'm trying to find out where it is coming from. It is all over my hands, legs and arms. I love coffee, but if that is the cause, I like English Breakfast tea enough.

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By Lyndsay (Guest Post) 01/16/2009 Flag

No, I never was "officially" diagnosed as I have neither the time nor money to keep going to doctors. I like the Bigelow tea the best. Funny thing is, eczema and psoriasis are not the same thing, and that is what I was told. Could be either one. Also Gold Bond Healing lotion works really well at healing up the wost of it. I'm all clear now and it is wonderful!

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By Yvonne 5 05/18/2009 Flag

Absolutely you can develop a skin rash by drinking coffee! I've seen it on my own face! People are just too addicted (including myself!) to want to admit the truth! When I stop drinking coffee for just one day, I can see and feel my chin rash settling down. As soon as I have my cup or two, my chin starts to burn! You don't have to have a Phd to see the writing on the wall!

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By Zoltan 1 09/04/2010 Flag

I'm living in Hungary. For years I did not know why those strange rashes appear on different places on my body(like acne or days later mild eczema, inflamation, at my armpit, upper leg part inside and underwear area). I realized that it is caused by some food or drink and I started to watch my daily diet. And yes, after half a year of checking my diet and the skin reactions I found out that it is caused by coffee. Most of the coffee causes those symptoms for me(100% arabica ie. all brands that I tried). but there is one Hungarian brand which doesn't. It is interesting and I do not know why, probably it's coming from few added chemicals, additives when they grew the coffee beans or something. So watch your coffee.

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By StacyS 1 06/24/2011 Flag

We have a coffee allergy in our family: we get very itchy rashes with blisters and flaky skin. My grandad got it on his arms, hands and feet, my dad on his feet, my aunt on her hands, and I get it on my feet. In all of us, it didn't start appearing until we were about 35. Luckily, I've never really been a coffee drinker, though I'll have a cup or a few sips occasionally. I've found the severity of the symptoms vary w/ different coffees, some give strong symptoms, others more mild. Even mocha ice cream and coffee liqueur has given me strong symptoms.
I don't know if this helps any, but good luck in your search!

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By Julia N. 1 07/29/2013 Flag

I've been a heavy coffee drinker (with Sweet'n Low) for almost 40 years and never thought anything about it until I got a panic attack a few months ago. I went to a shrink and he had me stop caffeine and artificial sweeteners. Now I drink organic decaf with raw sugar. I've been off caffeine for about a month and feel much better. This weekend I had a caffeinated iced coffee and broke out with itches all over my body. I'm still itchy 2 days later, but it's subsiding. Decaf for life!

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By Mark H. 1 11/09/2013 Flag

About 3 months ago I used to drink a lot of ice coffee, & I used to get a very itchy rash on my lower back. I personally decided to stop drinking the ice coffee due to the amount of SUGAR in a 600ml carton. The RASH soon went away. Last week my friend purchased a ice coffee & Received 1 for free. He gave me the second ice coffee The next day I got a bloody itchy rash on my stomach again. I now know it was the ice coffee but still not sure if it is the caffeine or sugar sweetener content in the carton. Thanks for reading. Regards, Mark

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By leighcallen 1 01/21/2014 Flag

Hi! Yes, I know coffee can cause skin rashes and much more! Coffee causes me to get a red itchy rash around my nose,mouth, and my chin! I also get a weird peeling rash on my hands that doesn't itch but peels and turns purple!

The last time I cut out coffee and caffeine, the rash on my face becan to like flake off and heal! I was amazed at what I saw. All the redness left and my eyelids were less puffy and my stomach became flatter and flatter!

I was most impressed with how drastically my skin had changed for the better! I had never seen the rash flake off and go away like that before and I think it is because I went longer being off coffee that time. I am so mad at myself for getting back on the addictive merry go round ride that I put myself on. Why do I do this? It has been causing problems in my life and I will cut it out hopefully for good!

By the way, no medicine, ointment or cream ever has helped my facial rash, only absence from coffee. I think I saw the rash healing about 2 weeks off the coffee. Also, skin creams did not irritate my skin anymore like they normally do while on coffee and I believe one of the causes is the high acid levels in coffee and also the pesticides as well. For some it may be the caffeine in the coffee but you will never know unless you cut it out and see if your skin begins to heal. Remember to give it time because everyone heals at a different pace! Thanks!

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By Sally 16 223 01/21/2014 Flag

Try using just organic coffee.

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