Red Dye Allergy – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is Red Dye Allergy?

Red Dye 40 is approved as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is the most widely used food dye. Red dye allergy has the same effects on both kids and elders, who are not able to process red dye when consuming foods. It is commonly named food coloring, which is called carmine or cochineal extract.

Another important cause is a artificial food coloring that can be present in drugs and foodstuff. Red dye is commonly used to save, make, and give coloring to foodstuff.

Although usually recognized as a food allergy that is wrong. Red dye allergy is food intolerance. The increase in food with artificial ingredients also made way for the increase of individuals with red dye allergies.

Kids are generally disturbed because they feed snacks and sweets extra. While the symptoms of allergy may be handled, it’s very hard to recognize. That’s because red dye allergy doesn’t essentially exhibit noticeable allergic responses.

Red Dye Allergy Symptoms

Skin Reactions

Like other forms of allergies, normal skin signs may result in red dye allergies. Irritation, soreness, and minor swelling of the skin are some of these indications. The physical appearance of hives, skin rashes and thick blobs are also allergy symptoms.

Red dye allergy triggers a much more serious skin reaction “Angioedema”. It’s recognized by the inflammation of the deeper cellular layers of the skin. This could appear like an elevated welt on the surface of the skin. An allergist can also diagnose angioedema in the tongue, eyelids, and the region around the face.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Anybody who is allergic to a specific type of foodstuff will have some kind of stomach trouble. In cases like this, the red food dye may lead to diarrhea, stomachache, or a gassy feeling. It will commonly begin as an uncomplicated stomach ache. Then it may lead to a more critical intestinal problem.

For example nausea and consistent excretions. As soon as a foodstuff with red dye has been removed, the gastrointestinal problem will also stop. For this reason, most individuals show coughing, wheezing, or a common singing in the chest area.

A young woman itching on arm due to red dye allergy.

Flu & Respiratory Problems

Red dye allergy may lead to specific components of the respiratory system expanding. It’s hard to identify people having food dye allergies because many of the signs exhibited are too common.

The finest example of this is fever and influenza. It also cause Irritation of the neck, eyes, and nose, as well as continuous sneezing.

Although you can easily handle symptoms with antibiotics and antihistamines. But the allergy cannot be noted for years.

Anaphylactic Shock

Red dye allergic reaction, if left untreated, can turn out to be becoming extreme. Anaphylactic surprise is the worst level of this hypersensitivity.

Its early signs are respiratory signs paired with swelling of the whole body. This inflammation can make it tough for a person to swallow and breathe. By the injection of adrenaline or epinephrine, Its effects are treated.

Other Symptoms of Red Dye Allergy

  • Quick pulse
  • Considerable fall in blood pressure
  • Giddiness
  • Passing out
  • Blocked breathing passages
  • Joint pains
  • Lack of hunger
  • Lack of sleep
  • Inadequate concentration
  • Loss of attention
  • Hypersensitivity
  • ADHD (more common among children)

Causes of Red Dye Allergy

Instead of common perception, red dye is not only present in foodstuff. In fact, it may come from any stuff, in foodstuff, makeup, and the toothpaste that you use in daily life.

Red dye 40 is taken from a beetle and then applied for several uses. The following are other factors that may induce a red dye allergic reaction.

Food to Avoid

Red dye is generally present in snacks and sweets, children’s beloved snacks. This is where red dye may lead to ADHD and other hyperactivity indications. The following are some of the food items that include red dye:

  • Ice cream
  • Gummy bears
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolates
  • Cereals
  • Red candies
  • Lollipops
  • Cheese
  • Chewing/bubble gum
  • Grapefruit extract

Other Products

Some other products with red dye 40 include the following:

  • Cosmetics / Health Care
  • Facewash
  • Shampoo
  • Lipstick
  • Eye shadow
  • Blushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Medicine
  • Cough syrup
  • Others

Generally, Red ink found in tattoos may lead to allergy symptoms. This may lead to redness, inflammation, and irritation in the skin. Allergic reaction to above mentioned foods and products can be mild or severe. You should avoid eating foods or using products that contain red dye 40.

Red Dye Allergy, Heart-shaped jelly candies in a paper bag.


It is difficult to diagnose a red dye allergy without a provocation test. Provocation allergy testing is done under the supervision of an allergist, it is also known as a food challenge. A blood test may also be perform by allergist to diagnose food coloring allergy.

Red Dye Allergy Treatment

You can’t treat red dye allergy completely. Due to this, prevention is much better than treatment. Avoid food and beauty products that contain carmine or red dye. This will protect you from the stress and symptoms caused by red dye allergy.

Antihistamines and some other anti-allergy medicines help in treating the allergy symptoms. Your gastrointestinal issues, it does not need a treatment option. The digestive issues will fade away when the food is excreted.

You can control skin issues by using different ointments. Physicians can give epinephrine or allergy shots to the patient in anaphylactic shock. Substitute medicine contains herbal treatment methods, homeopathy, and common Chinese treatment.

Be careful when purchasing this kind of medicine though. Many of them aren’t confirmed to be efficient.