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Why do I get itchy red rashes after consuming sour food items?

Q: Whenever I take sour food items like imli, mango, nimbu (lemon) etc. I develop red patches on the skin, which are itchy and warm to touch. After taking Alrid (Cipla) for 3 days, the symptoms subside. This allergic nature has developed suddenly and I am unable to pinpoint exactly when did it start. I feel that I have it for the past 5 years. I am a 50-year-old vegetarian but a habitual coffee and tea drinker. I am a heavy smoker as well. I don't have diabetes or blood pressure. Can this problem be solved permanently, as it has occurred in the later part of my life?

A:Food related rashes of the type you describe, which sounds like urticaria or hives, usually start within minutes, or at most an hour or so, of eating the food concerned. At present, there is no method of desensitising patients with such food allergies, but they do sometimes improve with the passage of time. Avoidance, or if this is difficult, taking a protective dose of an antihistamine, are the only options. In some cases allergic reactions are lessened if the food is cooked, but this obviously isn't an option for all foods.

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