or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Pepper Allergy!??? OMG!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pepper Allergy!??? OMG!!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
( going to post here, but can be moved at mods discretion..don't know where to put this..lol)

Well, I found out a little over 18 months ago that I'm allergic to PEPPER!!!!!!!!!:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

We were in school, playing "GUESS THAT SPICE" and I had my nose in a couple of platefuls of spices and about 30 mins my nose started to run and my face ( under nose ) started to turn beet red...

I ended up losing 3 days of school while my face sloughed off the outter layer of skin!!

I always thought that I was reacting to PORK FAT..hehee, whenever my mom made fried pork chops, she always used a little extra pepper to season the fatty part! (my fav part!!) because everytime we had that for dinner my nose would start to itch and run.

It wasn't until I had the school incident that I had such a reaction that needed medical intervention..lol

:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry: :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

The reason I'm so sad is that I just remembered this because I have a hankering for PEPPERCRUSTED STEAK from Las Halles...MY FAVORITE!!!

I absolutely LOVE anything peppery, pepper crusted salami, extra pepper on my fries...pepper, pepper..gimme pepper..! lol I wonder just how much pepper would it take to actually send me into shock? or can it?? or maybe it's not an allergy but an over sensitivity to the oils? mmmmmmmmm!?

My question is, how many of you guys out there have some sort of adverse reaction to an "UNCOMMON" or "COMMON" ingredient that you use or ingest?
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #2 of 28

Pepper allergy

I have never posted here before. I am a caterer and generally lurk in the catering/chef/recipe sectons. The pepper allergy title caught my attention. I have a question and some SERIOUS advice:

Question: What kind of pepper are you talking about? Black or other? I am allergic to NIGHTSHADES - these include bell, red, chili, cayenne, etc. Everything EXCEPT white and black which are a different plant family. If it is BLACK you actually have a bigger problem - read point two.

If your skin literally sloughed off - or you got a serious rash/redness/change in skin - then yes you are having a serious reaction. What medical people have told me is that these sensitivities only get worse & you need to avoid at all costs. You can see the implications for black pepper which is in EVERYTHING!!!! I would talk to my dr and see about carrying an epi pen.

Would love if you would clarify for us.
post #3 of 28

one more thing

people often crave what they are allergic to --
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
__________________________________________________ _______

Since we were playing "guess the spice" I'm not sure what type of pepper. All I know is there were many, many pie plates full of different types.

When there is pepper present, my reaction is this...as soon as we shake the pepper onto anything on the plates, even near me...I IMMEDIATELY start to sneeze and my nose starts to run.

I don't have any difficulty in breathing though.

When we were rubbing our noses into the plates, the skin under my nose and over my lip started to turn red, like a minor sunburn, then peeled like one. So maybe it's a reaction to something in the dried pepper...nothing happens to me when I eat the veggie though.

The Dr. didn't seemed to concerned, just told me to take a few days off since I looked so bad..( working with food and all..lol) Maybe it's time for a follow up...:blush:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #5 of 28

pepper allergy

All I can say is if it were me I would be concerned... and avoiding black pepper as much as possible. Also, would probably seek an allergist or better yet a naturopath and check it further. imagine if your throat did what your nose did! Again I say "what does it cost to carry an epi pen?"
post #6 of 28
I agree with pgr...better safe than sorry!

Although it also got me thinking - such a high amount of exposure to so much pepper may have triggered it. That's not normal in the course of a day. Did your skin actually contact the peppers? I was thinking that if you rubbed hot cut chillis onto your skin that pretty much anyone would get a free skin peel!

Severe reactions need to be treated seriously - just imagine if the same thing happened to the lining of your throat....... :eek:

I'm allergic to sulphur - the first time before it was diagnosed I got a rash, next time it was major blisters. Doc said I can NEVER take it again - as I said, if if affects your throat and/or lungs - you're pretty much pushing up the daisies.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
yepper, had my nose all up in it..lol and that's what I figured, aside from the severe sneezing that comes hand in hand whenever I'm around pepper...I thought that just about anyone would get a free facial when they come into contact with the oils...even with the dried herbs.
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
post #8 of 28
Aw MAN that's unfortunate. But do take notice what pgr said, you need to know what type of pepper.

I was severely allergic to shrimp for about 10 years, one of my favorite foods. Now I'm not (I found out with an extensive food allergy blood test) and I'm so glad, but I also won't overdo the shrimp.
post #9 of 28


Ok. First most people when sniffing peppers-sneeze, itch, eyes water and oils irratate skin, sniffinf enough that close to your nose can get the essential oils on it. If cayenne pepper is shaken in the same room as me I lose it! But I love it! If it doesn't affect breathing you should be ok.(I was seriously allergic to any animal that sheds when I was young-but my mom couldn't keep me away from ANY animal! I "outgrew" my allergy!TG)
You'd be suprised about how acidic oils can be from surprising sources. . My mom works for a plastic surgeon and they use amazing acids for peels. For Thanksgiving they do a pumpkin peel. Yes it works. I also do a honey peel that is strong.
post #10 of 28

  I dilscovered my allergy a few years ago to black pepper and some curries but until recently I was in denial.  I have had the heel on my foot, either one, or anyplace on the bottom of my foot swell and itch.  Usually Benedryl lotion take care of it.  The other night that is what happened and the Benedryl worked on my foot but my upper lip swelled up and stayed like that almost 24 hours.  I have had to go to the ER on one occasion and the clinic one time.  I have had the side of my tongue swell also.  I love spicy food but I am avoiding black pepper and tell the waitstaff everytime I eat out.  It more than eliminates half the menu.  I have found that I don't get a reaction to white pepper, its just that I think it smells like a barnyard.  I am not allergic to crushed red pepper or jalapeno.  Go figure. 

post #11 of 28


Best thing you can do for food allergy is see a Naturpath, they will develop a de-sensitization plan that can help you overcome your allergy. The common theory is that if you don't expose your genetic information to an allergen, they(white blood cells) will start to loose their "genetic memory" that says that they should attack a particular compound. They will generally then allow to you re-introduce the food allergen (pepper in your case) back into your diet.


Your immunity is a bit like a coiled spring. A recent theory is that we 'live to clean'. We would normally be carrying parasites and worms and our immunity would normally be pre-occupied dealing with them. A recent trial revealed amazing results amongst participants where they all introduced 'pig whip worm' by swallowing a prescribed tablet. The worm only survives in the body for a short time as we are the wrong species, but what happened was the immune system became pre-occupied with dealing with that. Their allergies simply disappeared.


I went to South America 4 years ago, picked up a bug from the water that modern science can't kill, and wulla...I don't have pollen allergy any more. There might be some truth in the worm theory.

I love my job
I love my job
post #12 of 28

Yesterday while at work,a co worker walked past my desk with a plate of microwaved bell peppers and I went into immediate respiratory failure!!! Vomiting and wheezing to the point of a 911 call and 2 days in the hospital.  Now I have to carry a stupid shot with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life.  Sigh*


I love peppers.


I knew I had a slight allergy but not to the extent of almost death.

So goodbye Mexican restaurants, goodbye Italian, goodbye chinese.

post #13 of 28


I agree, a Naturopathic Doctor or a Kinseologist, an Allergist who specialises in testing exact  food product allergies. An exemplary Acupuncturist could do same. Hope that you are feeling better by the time you receive this note. On Miami Beach which is where I believe you are living, Doctor Quinn Martinelli is absolutely a miracle worker. Quinn specialises in Chinese Medicine and Allergies. She hails from Alburquerque and is the daughter of a Doctor too.

post #14 of 28

I've been allergic to ALL peppers most of my life. when I was a kid, Mom would make Stuffed Bell peppers and shortly after I'd always get severe gastric issues; diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Got to a point when I'd smell it cooking, I'd get queasy. Even when I tried just to eat the rice, the pepper "enzyme" had permeated it and I'd get sick. As I got older, even black pepper would do it to me . (just as an aside, I also couldn't eat raw apples as a kid, and limit them in my diet now, again an enzyme thing) Not surprising, as an adult, I was diagnosed with an auto Immune disease.


Now that Mexican and Tex Mex dominates the menus in restaurants, I dread going out to dinner. And it should be no surprise that the meds for "reflux" and "gerd" have been steadily increasing since the introduction of these foods into our mainstream diets

post #15 of 28

I know you posted this a LONG time ago, so I hope this is still relevant to you and it doesn't fly in the face of your experiences since then.  I am a pharmacist and a long time dermatological malady sufferer who is looking for an explanation for why I am so sensitive to eating black pepper and spicy peppers but have no problem with hot radishes or mustards.  In my experience there seem to be 2 most likely scenarios for your situation.  First, you may be developing a true allergy to Piper Nigrum species that will progress to anaphylaxis through continued exposure in the same way people become sensitized to penicillins or bee venom upon repeated "dosing" with those allergens.  If this is the case you would want to avoid contact with pepper as recommended by others here.  Such an allergy is caused by a response by your immune system to components on the surface of the cells of the allergen.  "True anaphylaxis" is caused by the component of your immune system called immunoglobulin E and will lead to respiratory and/or cardiac arrest and death in those truly allergic.  An allergist or immunologist can likely diagnose this condition in very short order.


Peeling of the skin as you had with no hives or respiratory symptoms like throat swelling or difficulty breathing doesn't sound like a true allergy per se.  The second option that seems more likely is that the volatile oils in the pepper came in contact with your skin and the "skin" or epithelium inside your nose causing sneezing & runny nose and a chemical burn to the skin on your nose, similar to the chemical burn you would experience when chlorine bleach comes in contact with your skin.  The runny nose is your body's way of trying to flush out the chemical that is irritating the mucous membranes inside your nose.  The best way to find an answer is to seek clinical tests from a western medicine practitioner or physician like an allergist or immunologist.  Hopefully you are well and already have these answers.  And if anyone knows of someone who is hugely intolerant to the burning and irritation caused by hot peppers like jalapenos or cayenne I would love to know I am not alone in this and that I'm not just a wimp.  Thanks.

post #16 of 28

I have been suffering with allergies to citrus foods and food items containing citric acid for about 4 years. I recently have been increasing severe problems with raw tomato, any types of tomato sauce. As of yesterday, my throat started to close up,wheals on my neck, chest and face. Could barely swallow the Benadryl tabs I had closeby! This is after eating chcken with red and green bell peppers.. Very difficult to enjoy any of the delicious foods out there since most sauces contain citric acid , lemon juice or some kind of element. I don't have problems with white or black pepper. Off I go to the Allergist and get an epipen!!YEAH!!

post #17 of 28

I was diagnosed as being allergic to all types of peppers and chillis through a skin scratch test in my teens, I had a severe anaphylactic reaction tho about a month ago as my throat swelled up and could barely breathe, my skin went all red and blotchy and my eyes swelled so could barely see, my mate phoned an ambulance for me and was given two different shots of adrenaline and an anti-histamine. Plus a repeat script for epi-pens :)



Scary but knew what was happening and kept calm and tried to breathe slowly as my throat was starting to close up. I was kept in hospital overnight and felt so bad for my mate who had only wanted to cook me lunch!! He gave me a card the next day when got home saying 'Get Well Soon!' and under he wrote 'Im sorry that almost killed you, please forgive me!'



Lols!! It was just that he cooked my lunch meal in the same oil as he used to cook his and his had a Bell Pepper and half a green chilli in it. That's what set me off. So yeah weird allergy but it can be severe :)




Edit... I cant even touch peppers or chillis without a skin reaction, I am very allergic. It just annoys me when people say theyre allergic to something but aren't really, its just that they don't like a type of food...Hmmms!! Try not being able to eat something and having to check every single thing you buy from the shops? I will be stood for a while just checking out contents in pre-packed food or something that I fancy. Takes aaages for me to do a food shop!!! :)

Edited by BinkySquinky - 9/14/13 at 4:09am
post #18 of 28

All I have to add to this is if you plan to eat out call ahead.  We love to accommodate allergies but a black pepper allergy means everything needs to be made from scratch for you.   Ask to speak to the kitchen if the establishment says the accommodate your allergy and work out a specific menu that works for both you and the chef.  

post #19 of 28

Its not BLACK pepper, its BELL PEPPERS AND CHILLIS! :) Sorry to yell but sometimes people mistake the two! :D

post #20 of 28
Im allergic to all peppers except white. Which means almost never eating out and no prescription or over the counter vitamin c because the number 1 ingredient is pepper. I have 113 food allergies.so no leaving the house w/o bendryl and multiple epi-pens frown.gif
post #21 of 28
Oh had surgery and the fed me arnold bread and ham sandwich..had to give myself a shot while (trying to breathe and tounge is at the top of my mouth)the nurse calls the dr to ask for the o.k for a shot...i have no less than 10 armbands on wt allergies listed on them. .duh and always ask ingredients
post #22 of 28
I learned about 25 years ago that I was allergic to black pepper it was through process of elimination and has become more severe over the years, it only takes me eating 1 bite of something with black pepper in it for the nausea and vomiting to start now my throat gets itchy (had my lips swell once when I ate a Cesar dressing that had pepper in it). I feel bad for the rest of my family and husband because they can't eat things that they want because of my allergy. For instance my husband loves spicy food and when we cook on the grill he can't use marinades or most seasoning because of the possibility of it going near my food. Eating out at a restaurant is tough also people don't realize the seriousness of this allergy or that black pepper is used in most cooking we have a couple restaurants that is "safe" for me.. Every time someone new hears about my allergy they think it's the weirdest thing and I always hear the same thing " I've never heard that before" or " I use black pepper in/on everything!" frown.gif
post #23 of 28

I am pleased and surprised to find I am not alone in my black  pepper allergy agony.  

My BIGGEST problem is that in the US at least, food packagers are not required to even name it in their list of ingredients.  It is usually lumped in under the catch-all term "spices". Therefore, I am forced to avoid many, many products due to this vagueness.  


<bold>What the World needs (I mean, one thing some of us need) is a web blog listing all products known to have/ not have certain ingredients in them. </bold> 


I will make the first entries into the Black Pepper section:  

A call to Hillshire Farms (one of their specialists) reveals that ALL their sausage products contain BP except for Low-Fat Turkey Keilbasa (smoked sausage).  


I discovered to my detriment on my own that Wendy's fast-food restaurant Artisian Breakfast Sandwiches (biscuit, egg, bacon-or-sausage, and cheese) are LOADED with BP.  


Caesar Salad dressing by definition seems to be poisoned with Black Pepper, no matter the source.  Blue Cheese dressing is hit-or-miss. Ranch dressings are only occasionally found to have BP. 


Black Pepper is one of Kentucky Fried Chicken's (now known as KFC)'s seven secret herbs & spices; I have verified it is in ALL their breading, and probably even their grilled chicken.  BP is also in ALL their sides, except the mashed potatoes. Do skip the gravy, though. 


And while we're at it, skip ALL fried chicken brands - I haven't found one yet to not have BP. This includes Popeye's, Bojangles, the aforementioned KFC and a few local producers.  


Don't even think about Cajun - it is black-pepper based cuisine, it seems.  

Any "Southern" cooking seems to include a heavy hand with Black Pepper.  9I haven't asked, but I'd go so far as to suspect even the peach cobbler.) 

And anything with a "blackened" treatment?  RUN in the other direction!  The black is not only a seared crust, but - wait for it! - - - - - - yes, Black Pepper. 


On the POSITIVE side, I have found McDonald's has a lot of products without black Pepper.  I have not noticed any BP in their McMuffins, or Biscuits with egg-cheese-bacon. With a caveat: their sausage products include the mandatory BP.  None of McD's burgers except those with the specifically-named BP-Bacon have it, according to a local manager (KY, USA).  Burger King Whoppers Junior seem OK too.  Subway seems pretty good, too, as long as you avoid any salami or pepperoni, and pastrami and corned beef,  Ask about anything else just to be sure. 


Does anyone else have any tips?  


I've got many more, but am out of time for the moment.  

post #24 of 28

One more thing - does anyone have a sense of how many people, percentage-wise, are afflicted to one degree or another with Black Pepper Problems?  (Other than the dogs in the classic movie "Cool Hand Luke")

post #25 of 28

i'm allergic to black and white pepper, and jalapenos. if anyone has any suggestions on substitutions. i would be very grateful.

i carry benedryl around with me in case i have a reaction when i'm out of the house. but so many good recipes call for black pepper. so far i'm just omitting it, and keeping a shaker on the table. please help.

post #26 of 28

The three classes of seasoning that trigger pain as part of their taste are: Peppercorns (piperine is the chemical), Chile Peppers (capsaicin) and Mustard/Horseradish (allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil))


You might find mustard or horseradish works to a degree, or it may also trigger allergic responses. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #27 of 28



I have had a pepper allergy for several years. Green peppers,red peppers, and chili-type peppers.  Over the summer, my teenaged son started working at Pizza Hut.  Bad idea.  The pepper residue he has brought home on his clothes causes trouble for me.  Although he now lives away from home, when he visits, he brings the residue with him.  And now the residue is in various places in my home...the bedding he used when he slept overnight, the towel he used to shower with, etc. It is also spreading to other clothing items.  I have thrown away many towels and blankets because of this.  :-(


Does anyone know how to clean up from pepper residue for someone whose allergy is totally  out of control??? I am finding that if I try to wash something peppery in the washer, it affects the washer and dryer and spreads the contamination to other clothing items.


My situation is becoming desperate...any ideas would be greatly appreciated.



post #28 of 28

Whoa. When I first read the thread title I cringed.

I thought the allergy was to capsaicin. I would have a lot of trouble dealing with that one. A lot of trouble.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Pepper Allergy!??? OMG!!