ALLERGIES Food Allergy

Citrus Allergy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More


Citrus fruits are medically proven for an excellent source of vitamin C. Despite the health benefits of citrus fruit, they cause citrus allergy in some sensitive people. This article will help you to learn about allergies to citrus fruit and its related factors. Keep reading to learn!

Citrus allergies are reactions to citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. You may have an allergic reaction to fresh juice or fruit of citrus fruit and even to its peel. Most symptoms appear after consuming raw citrus fruit, but can also occur by touching it.

The symptoms are tingling and itching lips, tongue, and throat, reddening, mild swollen lips and gums, and contact dermatitis. Citrus allergies can cause anaphylaxis in rare cases.

Symptoms of Citrus Allergy

Most people experience citrus allergy after eating food or drinks that include citrus fruit. You can experience the symptoms soon after eating or taking drinks, including citrus. Different symptoms of citrus fruit include the following.

Tingling and itchiness on the lips, throat, or tongue, mild swelling, and redness on the lips are the major symptoms. You can say all these symptoms as oral allergy syndrome symptoms. The symptoms may include:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Burning of skin
  • High itching
  • Scaly and dry skin
  • Blisters
  • Swelling

Anaphylaxis symptoms include the following:

  • Hives
  • Flushed skin
  • Swelling of throat and mouth
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Vomiting
  • Asthma
  • The sudden drop in blood pressure
Citrus fruits are isolated on the table for the concept of citrus allergy.

Citrus Allergy Causes

The immune system defends your body against substances that do not threaten you and cause an allergic reaction. You can say these substances are allergens. When the immune system of the body after getting affected, then this will cause an allergic reaction.

Raw citrus allergic reaction is present in some people. Whom am I suffering from pollen allergy? The phenomenon is named cross-reactivity.

Citric acid cannot cause an allergic reaction. Citric acid is a chemical found in the juices of citrus fruits and it is not an allergen itself. But it can also cause irritation on the skin and in the mouth and the stomach of the person gets upset.

Citric acid does not affect the response of the immune system of any person. Allergic reactions are due to OAS, which is due to pollen allergy. You can say this cross reactivity.

The cross-reactivity most occurs due to protein sharing in citrus fruit and pollen. These proteins can cause the human body the reaction mouthful of fruit because its bite produces pollen which causes allergy.

What to avoid?

A person allergic to citrus fruits should avoid touching them and eating them. Citrus fruits include the following:

  • Kumquats
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mandarins
  • Grapefruits
  • Oranges


Suppose you are suffering from an allergy. It will develop a bump with a red ring within 15 to 20 minutes. But if your child is very young and cannot tell you about eating fruit, it can cause an allergen.

It would be best to observe your child when trying to eat new things and notice the reactions if any. You should immediately rush towards the hospital if you are experiencing the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition.

Citrus Allergy Treatment

Avoid eating or drinking anything which contains raw citrus fruits. When you buy any juice, check the labels mentioned on it. Avoid taking pricked citrus. The citrus, which is un-ripped, is much more irritated than the ripped fruit.

Avoid citrus fruit seeds because people use citrus seeds in salads. You also must ask about the ingredients involved in the products while eating food outside your home. Avoid eating all those sweets which have artificial flavors.

You avoid taking supplements that are of vitamin c because the flavor used in them can be very dangerous. Citrus fruit can cause an allergic reaction. But many people can consume citrus very by cooking it. You can also use different herbs as a substitute for citrus.


Citrus allergy is a rare and life-threatening condition. You can reduce symptoms by eliminating citrus fruits from your diet.

There is no cure, but medications and immunotherapy can help with symptoms. Citrus allergy sufferers should keep epinephrine pens on hand in case of anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. The symptoms are frequently localized, which means you feel them exactly where the raw fruit touched your skin.

Citrus irritates some people because it contains proteins that are similar to those found in pollen. You could also be allergic to the chemical found in citrus peels. Most people who are sensitive to citrus have a mild reaction, but a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction is possible.


Would citric acid cause an allergic reaction in someone allergic to citrus?

The short answer is no.

What is the prevalence of citrus allergies?

Citrus allergies are uncommon but present in grapefruit and oranges. Some symptoms include a rash, swelling, itching, nausea, and vomiting.