Types of Reactions to Cantaloupe:
- Oral Allergy Syndrome-symptoms typically occur with mouth itching and swelling of lips and tongue. Patients allergic to ragweed pollen can describe symptoms of oral allergy syndrome to cantaloupe. This is not a true cantaloupe allergy, but a cross reactivity of the proteins to the ragweed pollen. Other foods in this category include, but are not limited to: banana, cucumber, other melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini. Treatment is not eating it in the raw form or just avoiding it.
- Anaphylaxis-symptoms that occur are hives, swelling, wheezing, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea and low blood pressure. Cucumisin has been implicated as well as cantaloupe specific proteins, this leads to IgE mast cell degranulation. Allergy skin testing, specific IgE lab testing and fresh food skin testing with cantaloupe all can be used to test for cantaloupe allergy. The muskmelon group of fruits contain 3 food allergens, called Cuc m 1, m 2 and m3.
- Dermatitis-the melon peel can cause contact allergy with symptoms of itching and redness. Nonspecific lipid transfer protein (nsLTP) in the peel can be a cause of skin contact allergy.
Reactions to cantaloupe can thus come in different forms. An allergy doctor can help decipher what type of reaction one is having to cantaloupe and to do the appropriate tests for establishing or ruling out a diagnosis of clinical allergy.