Can Cake Cause Hives?

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Parents

My son ate some cake at a birthday party and then developed hives. What causes hives? Could it have been the cake?
- Sara

Something in the cake could have caused your son's hives. Hives — raised, itchy patches on the skin — can develop when someone has contact with an allergen (foods such as eggs or nuts, bee stings, or medicines, etc.) and the body releases a chemical called histamine.

While hives themselves usually go away with time, they can be a sign of a serious allergy. If so, a future allergic reaction could cause more serious problems, like trouble breathing.

See the doctor to figure out what caused your son's hives. If he has a food allergy, it's important to have it diagnosed so that your son can learn to avoid potentially dangerous foods and keep emergency medication (epinephrine) with him at all times.

Give epinephrine and call 911 immediately if your son ever has signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as throat tightness or breathing trouble.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2015



Related Resources

OrganizationAmerican Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology offers up-to-date information and a find-an-allergist search tool.
OrganizationFood Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.


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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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