How to Crack an Egg Allergy

Since eggs are a common ingredient in many recipes, if you're allergic to eggs, eating can be quite challenging. Here are some common symptoms of egg allergies:

  • Hives, itching
  • Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing

Research Findings

If these symptoms sound familiar, you may be interested in the research findings published in the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JCAI).  Greek scientists discovered that increased exposure to eggs in small increments could help build up a tolerance. However, there's one catch: in order to get these results, the egg must be heated before consumed.

The good news is that most recipes that call for eggs, such as cakes and other baked goods, do require cooking. The scientists also discovered that tackling egg exposure in small increments and then introducing them slowly into your diet is essential for allowing the body to become desensitized.

Take Control

While this is all quite encouraging, desensitizing yourself isn't something you can safely try at home. Therefore, it's important to talk to your doctor or allergist about how to cope with your egg allergy.

One strategy she's sure to stress is becoming familiar with what types of foods contain egg products. (Note that egg substitutes can also contain egg whites and should be avoided, as well.) This can encompass a wide variety, including:

  • Baked goods
  • Meatloaf, meatballs
  • Processed foods
  • Marshmallows
  • Puddings
  • Salad dressings and mayonnaise
  • Some coffee and alcoholic drinks

Educate Yourself

Did you know that egg-related ingredients can go by many different names? In addition to the common egg-related names (such as dried egg, solid egg, and egg whites), you'll also need to avoid Albumin, Globulin, Lecithin, Livetin, Lysozyme, Simplesse, Vitellin, ovalbumin, ovoglobulin, and many others. (Ask your doctor for the complete list.)

In addition, eggs can be contained in common household items, such as shampoo, medications, and cosmetics, so if you are highly allergic, these may also be on your "no" list. Eggs can also be used in many vaccinations, so ask before receiving a flu shot or other immunization.

Treat a Reaction

If you do inadvertently come in contact with eggs either by touch or by mouth and experience a mild reaction, this can usually be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl. Just watch for signs of anaphylaxis, such as throat or tongue swelling, and difficulty breathing, which can be life threatening and require immediate emergency treatment.

Treat Yourself

Keep in mind that if you're dealing with an egg allergy, you won't have to give up all of your favorite foods and treats. Many recipes can still work without eggs by substituting an oil and baking powder mixture instead.


American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)

KidsHealth from Nemours

Mayo Clinic