I develop swellings on taking fluids with citric acid

Monday September 3 2018

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

Hello Doctor, why is it that whenever I take fluids rich in citric acid, I develop swellings on my body, especially in soft areas?

Citric acid is mostly found in citrus fruits such as lemon and orange. People, if at all they react to the fruit-derived citric acid, may get itching skin rashes, burning or swelling of lips, and sometimes reactions involving eyes, nose, and skin can develop. In serious cases, the skin can develop blisters akin to water scalds called Eczema reactions.
Though you think that it is the citric acid you are reacting to, it is likely that the allergic reactions are more likely due to the fruit, not to citric acid itself.
In the so-called oral allergy syndrome, people may actually have many other reactions to other foods or may even be asthmatic and the lips, mouth and throat which are soft areas, may carry the brunt of allergic reactions.