Am I allergic to scallops?

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Scallops are a type of shellfish that are widely used in various seafood dishes. If an individual experiences any adverse reaction after consuming or handling scallops, a doctor should be consulted right away. An individual can develop an allergy to scallops as well as other shellfish such as mussels and oysters later in life even if he/she was able to eat them before without any issues. It is important to note that shellfish allergy affects millions of individuals all over the world and among the most harmful food allergens.


The individual should undergo testing to determine if he/she is allergic to shellfish such as scallops. During this test, the doctor will create a few tiny scratches on the forearm and expose the area to a small amount of the food allergen.

Once a mild reaction occurs such as swelling or redness, it indicates that the individual is allergic to scallops.

Watch out for the symptoms

In some cases, the individual can also experience abdominal pain, faintness, diarrhea and vomiting.

It is important to monitor for any minor symptoms of an allergic reaction after consuming or handling scallops. The signs and symptoms of a reaction typically include hives or reddish itchy skin, flushed face, tingling sensation in the skin and lips as well as swelling of the lips and face. In some cases, the individual can also experience abdominal pain, faintness, diarrhea and vomiting.

Check the food labels

An individual with scallop allergy must carefully check the food labels in order to avoid an allergic reaction from developing. Foods that might be contaminated with scallops or other types of shellfish include pizza toppings, rice dishes, sauces, salad dressings, spreads, broths and soups as well as foods that contain gelatin. Sushi and fish might also contain shellfish contaminants.

Exposure to the allergen

Try to observe if the individual experiences allergy symptoms if he/she is in close proximity with scallops that are being cooked. It is important to note that when shellfish are cooked or heated, their proteins can become airborne. If the individual inhales these protein vapors, it can trigger an allergic reaction.

Considerations to bear in mind

  • The individual at risk for allergic reactions must always bring along an auto-injectable epinephrine. A shot should be administered to help minimize the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
  • Call for emergency assistance if an individual is experiencing any of the allergy symptoms after ingestion or handling of shellfish or other food allergens.
  • Seek medical care if the individual is having a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis. This severe reaction is characterized by symptoms such as an abrupt drop in the blood pressure, difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue and throat as well as a rapid heart rate. This reaction can progress to shock, loss of consciousness and even death if not treated promptly.

The individual should not use antihistamines or any type of allergy medication for 3 days before the scratch test is performed since these medications can interfere by making the individual less reactive to the allergen.

A medical alert bracelet should be used by the individual with information about the allergy or he/she must bring along an emergency medical care at all times.

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