A vitamin E allergy is a relatively rare condition that generally results in a mild skin reaction. Contact dermatitis, also known as eczema, is the most common symptom. Vitamin E is an essential vitamin that naturally occurs in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, and an allergy to foods containing it is very rare. It is more common for a person to be sensitive to medications and beauty products that contain this ingredient.
People who have an allergy to vitamin E produce too much of a chemical known as histamine when the skin comes into contact with the vitamin. These elevated histamine levels often cause a rash that might itch and swell at the location of contact. The exact symptoms of the allergy vary according to the type of product used as well as the severity of the allergy itself.
Many beauty products and cosmetics contain vitamin E, and the majority of people will not experience any negative side effects from them. People who have a vitamin E allergy might experience redness, swelling or itching at the application site. In some cases, hives or welts might develop. Treatment with an oral or topical antihistamine, which usually can be purchased without a prescription, is generally all that is needed to treat these symptoms. If over-the-counter antihistamines do not provide sufficient relief, a medical professional might prescribe stronger medications.
It is almost unheard of for a person to be allergic to the vitamin E found in foods, although it is possible for this to occur. Some foods that contain vitamin E include peanut butter, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, and eggs. Many processed foods contain it as an added ingredient, making it essential for anyone who has an allergy to carefully check food labels.
Anaphylaxis is a term used to describe a severe and potentially fatal type of allergic reaction. This type of vitamin E allergy is extremely rare but requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of anaphylaxis might include swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, as well as a rash or hives. When the throat swells, it might become difficult or impossible for the patient to breathe. Emergency medical attention is necessary when this occurs, and hospitalization is frequently needed until the patient is stabilized.