Image by Dwight Sipler
By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener
Many plants can result in allergic reactions, including common vegetable garden plants like tomato. Let’s learn more about what causes skin rash from tomatoes and other tomato plant allergies.
Tomato Plant Allergies
Everyone’s sensitivity to plants is somewhat different. What bothers some people may have no impact whatsoever on someone else. There are several different types of reactions that people can have to plants. A skin rash may develop even if a person has not been previously exposed to a plant. A good example of this happens with stinging nettles. When you brush up against them, they cause a tingling sensation on the skin that comes quickly and leaves quickly. This is also known as a non-allergic contact dermatitis.
Another type of reaction is known as allergic contact dermatitis, which produces a rash within 24 hours. A good example of this type of reaction is poison ivy. There are some people who are not at all bothered by poison ivy but others who experience terrible reactions. People can also be allergic to tomato plants, which is another form or allergic contact dermatitis.
What Causes Skin Rash from Tomatoes?
For those who are sensitive or allergic to tomato plants, a tomato plant rash will appear shortly after the tomato has been touched. The skin will become red, and you may experience extreme itching.
Tomato plant allergies can be mild, or they can be extremely severe, causing a great deal of discomfort. Severe reactions may cause wheezing, hives, nausea, vomiting, sneezing and runny nose. It will take several exposures before you will build up the antibodies necessary to counteract the proteins in the tomato.
How to Treat Tomato Rashes
It is always best to seek medical attention if you have a severe allergic reaction to a tomato plant. The physician will usually prescribe antihistamines to reduce the pain, itching and swelling. There are also topical ointments with steroids that are useful in treating contact dermatitis.
If you know that you are allergic to tomato plants and you come in contact with them, wash the area of your skin immediately. Once you have been diagnosed with a tomato allergy, try to stay clear of them. People having severe allergies should also read food labels carefully to avoid a possible reaction from ingesting tomatoes.