MNN Galleries

9 common allergies explained

carton of eggs

Photo: jupiterimages

4 of 11

Eggs

Egg allergies are one of the most common food allergies, especially among children. However, most children outgrow their egg allergy by the age of 5. Most people who are allergic to eggs have reactions to the proteins in egg whites, but some people can't tolerate the proteins in the yolk.

An allergic reaction to eggs typically occurs within a few minutes to a few hours after eating eggs or foods that contain them. Symptoms are usually mild, such as rashes, hives and vomiting, but a severe egg allergy can cause anaphylaxis. If allergies are mild, people may be able to relieve symptoms with over-the-counter antihistamine medications, but people who are especially sensitive to eggs must keep them out of the house because egg fumes or even getting eggs on the skin can cause severe allergic reactions.

A variety of food products contain eggs, making avoidance more complicated.