Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Allergies health centre

Why does my mouth get itchy when I eat fruit?

By
WebMD Commentary
Medically Reviewed by Dr Sheena Meredith

If within minutes of eating certain fruits your mouth begins to itch or your lips swell it's likely you have oral allergy syndrome, and you wouldn't be alone – it's the number one food allergy to affect adults.

Oral allergy syndrome is closely connected to hayfever and is also known as pollen-food syndrome. The itch, swelling, and sometimes rash occur – usually in those who have hayfever - because the fruit you've eaten contains proteins similar to those found in tree and grass pollen which your body mistakenly reacts to.

Symptoms have usually gone within the hour but you may find that having a warm drink or rinsing your mouth helps, or that an antihistamine tablet relieves the itchiness in your mouth and throat. Of course, the best way to prevent symptoms is to identify the fruit responsible and avoid it. However, some people may be affected by the raw fruit but be able to eat it when it's cooked, as cooking usually destroys the allergens. Also, it may be that one variety of apples, for example, has an effect but not another variety. It's also possible peeling the fruit and discarding the skin means you could eat it without symptoms. It's not just fruit that can be a problem, but some vegetables and nuts too.

If you're concerned about your mouth itching after eating fruit or if your symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.

Reviewed on August 04, 2016

Allergy & asthma newsletter

Get tips for breathing easier.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
79x79_causes_of_fatigue_and_how_to_fight_it.jpg
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
period_questions_answered
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
girl_sneezing_into_tissue
Treating your child's cold or fever
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
cold sore
What you need to know