Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Treatment Prevention

Sensitivity to Peanuts Overview

Another name for Sensitivity to Peanuts is Peanut Allergy.

What is a peanut allergy?
A person with a peanut allergy has an allergic reaction to peanuts. Peanuts can trigger an allergic reaction when they are eaten, when they come in contact with the skin, or when peanut flour is inhaled as dust. Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies in the United States. Peanut allergies cause about 75 percent of all severe allergic reactions.

What are the symptoms of a peanut allergy?
Common symptoms of a peanut allergy include rash, hives, facial swelling, eye redness, itching, wheezing, and diarrhea. Additional symptoms of a severe peanut allergy include wheezing, difficulty breathing, dizziness, faintness, sweating, weakness, and fainting.

How does the doctor treat a peanut allergy?
The most effective treatment for a peanut allergy includes avoiding foods that contain peanuts. Allergy shots may be helpful to prevent allergic reactions in those with a severe peanut allergy. Treatment for allergic reactions to peanuts may include antihistamines, corticosteroids, and additional medications that reduce the symptoms of allergic reactions. Treatment for a severe reaction includes epinephrine injections.

Continue to Sensitivity to Peanuts Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Sensitivity to Peanuts References
  1. Fleischer DM. The natural history of peanut and tree nut allergy. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2007 Jun;7(3):175-81. [17448327]
  2. Palmer K, Burks W. Current developments in peanut allergy. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Jun;6(3):202-6. [16670515]
  3. Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. Peanut allergy: emerging concepts and approaches for an apparent epidemic. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 Sep;120(3):491-503; quiz 504-5. Epub 2007 Aug 8. [17689596]
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