What Are Common Symptoms of an Eggplant Allergy?

Meshell Powell

Eggplant allergy symptoms vary according to the severity of the allergy, although any potential signs of an allergic reaction should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation. Mild symptoms of an allergy to eggplant might include slight itching of the mouth, throat or lips. More severe allergic symptoms might involve a potentially life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis, in which facial swelling, throat tightening and difficulty breathing might develop. Some people, especially young children, might experience a skin rash merely from coming into contact with eggplant. Any questions or concerns about possible eggplant allergy symptoms on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

An eggplant allergy can cause tightening in the throat.
An eggplant allergy can cause tightening in the throat.

Although an allergy to eggplant and other related foods containing chemicals known as salicylates is relatively uncommon, it is important for a person to take note of any potential signs of an allergic reaction and to seek medical help immediately. Most eggplant allergy symptoms are mild in nature and involve a tingling or itching feeling on the roof of the mouth. The lips or throat might feel scratchy or itchy as well in mild cases of an allergy to eggplant. These symptoms might be more common during local allergy seasons and correspond with allergies to other plants, such as ragweed.

Allergies may manifest as skin rashes.
Allergies may manifest as skin rashes.

Contact dermatitis is among the possible eggplant allergy symptoms and is most common among infants or young children. This condition typically causes a rash to appear on the area of the body that has come into contact with the skin. In some cases, a widespread rash might develop after the food has been consumed. Any unexplained rash involving babies and small children should be reported to a doctor immediately.

Signs of an eggplant allergy may include slight itching of the mouth and lips.
Signs of an eggplant allergy may include slight itching of the mouth and lips.

A condition known as anaphylaxis is the most severe form of an eggplant allergy. Symptoms might include rash; hives; and swelling of the face, lips and throat; as well as difficulty breathing. As the body becomes deprived of oxygen, a loss of consciousness might occur. These symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency, because death can occur within minutes if not treated right away. Supportive care in a hospital setting might become necessary until the patient becomes medically stable.

Eggplant allergies can be serious, and CPR may be necessary if the person experiencing anaphylaxis is not breathing.
Eggplant allergies can be serious, and CPR may be necessary if the person experiencing anaphylaxis is not breathing.

The treatment for mild eggplant allergy symptoms normally consists of the use of over-the-counter antihistamines to control mild itching and swelling. More severe symptoms require the assistance of trained medical staff members. People who have ever had a severe reaction to eggplant might need to carry a special medication at all times in the event of a recurrence.

Consulting 911 can be helpful in suspected cases of a severe allergic reaction.
Consulting 911 can be helpful in suspected cases of a severe allergic reaction.

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Discussion Comments


When I have eaten eggplant I get violently sick almost immediately and I feel really ill for a while. It took me two or three times eating the eggplant to realize what it was that was causing this reaction in me. Now I don't eat it, obviously. The first two times I had eaten food in a Greek restaurant it wasn't til the third time I ate the eggplant at a friends house, (they were Italians and cooked an Italian dish). The common ingredient was the eggplant. A few years later, I was dining out and my friend had lasagne and I tried some of it, and had the same reaction. So I don't eat it any more.

My symptoms seem very different from most of the ones listed here and I am interested to hear if anyone else has the same reactions as I do.


Ahhh I have this! People always look at me funny when I say I can't eat eggplant. I would describe my symptoms as more of a "stabbing" needle-like pain followed by numbness. I wouldn't call it severe, as I've never required any medical help. It's just an uncomfortable feeling, and besides, eggplant is easy to avoid for the most part!


I had eggplant a couple of days back, like about five days back. Everything was fine until last evening. I slept with a little itchiness on my face. I didn't give it any importance though. Since this morning until now in the evening, I have a lot of pustules on my face and my chest and a couple on my arms and they are itchy. What should I do? Please advise.


I have mild allergic symptoms (I guess it could be sensitivity) to eggplant. My hands will get an itchy rash if I touch it, and the first (and last) time I ate it, my lips swelled, and my mouth tingled and burned, and I hit the benydryl. I have no problem with potatoes and tomatoes only give me heartburn if I eat too many.


I'm allergic to eggplant and the one time I had it in my life, I had a horrible rash. First the inside of my mouth started to itch, at which point I stopped eating. Within half an hour, a rash started to appear on my face and spread to other parts of my body in the next hour. It itched everywhere, I was so horrified.

My parents rushed me to the hospital where they quickly treated me before it got worse. I'm so glad that there wasn't swelling in my mouth and throat. That would have been so scary because I know how dangerous it is. It's also scary that allergy reactions happen so quickly.


@alisha-- It might actually be sensitivity to eggplant rather than an allergy, although the only way to be positive is to have your doctor do a blood test on her.

As far as I know, when there is a sensitivity to food, maybe the seeds or the acids in a fruit or vegetable, the lips and mouth can become red and slightly irritated. I experience this with cantaloupe all the time.

When it's an allergy, there is usually more symptoms in addition to redness, like swelling, itching and hives. Since your daughter just had redness, I'm assuming it's more of a sensitivity. Perhaps if you had continued feeding it to her, more symptoms might have occurred which would signal an allergy. Don't feed her any eggplants and get an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

And yes, tomatoes and potatoes are in the same family as eggplant but being allergic to one doesn't mean you are allergic to all. If your daughter had tomatoes and potatoes before without any symptoms, then she's not allergic.


My daughter is almost one year old. We don't eat eggplants that often as a family, so we had never given it to my daughter until now. She liked the taste of it and was eating it well but then I noticed that it started to turn red around her mouth. I stopped giving it to her then and watched out for any other symptoms. Her mouth area was red and a little raised but nothing aside from that.

I haven't gotten an appointment with her doctor yet because I know he's on vacation right now and I think I'd rather wait for him to return rather than seeing someone else.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of reaction with their son or daughter? Is it an allergy? I won't give her eggplants but should I be worried about tomatoes and potatoes too? I think eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes all belong the same family, right?

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