Pizza Makes Me Itch

PIzza | CreativeCainCabin.comI’ve had the strangest thing happen to me over the last 6 months, every time I eat pizza I itch all over and it gets worse the more pizza I eat. I know it sounds strange but over time I think I’ve become allergic to pizza. 

It started out by just my face tingling after I ate a slice, I could feel my skin start to get hot and then it had a slight tingle. I thought nothing of it, but the next time I ate pizza it happened again and this time my neck also had the same sensation. Well last night I ate a slice and and this time my whole body itched but not the kind of itch you could scratch it felt like the itch came from under my skin within my body not on top where it could be scratched.

I’ve tried store bought pizza, and restaurant pizza all with the same results. I haven’t tried eating my home made pizza to see if that does it to me too.

Why after all these years would I suddenly become sensitive to pizza? Let me tell you I’m not happy about it one bit, I love pizza but it looks like I will no longer be able to eat it.

I know after I turned 40 I mean 29 I became allergic to most soaps but with time I seem to have aged my way out of that so hopefully the pizza thing will straighten itself out too. Has anyone else had a similar allergy crop up with age?


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  1. Hi Dawn, I would take each part of the pizza and eat it by its self. To see if it is a true allergy. That way you could narrow it down to the sauce or the cheese or what ever. Be careful as if your throat starts to itch you will probably need to take some Benedryl.
    Hope you figure it out.

    1. Linda, that’s a great idea, but I must say I’m a little paranoid to try it again just for that reason. We don’t live close to a big town so getting help would take a while.

    2. Roger Hornback says:

      This happened to me after a brain tumor removed. It took me years to figure it out. Only thing I’m allergic to is dust mites. It’s called pancake syndrome. It happens to be contaminated flour. Everyone eating dust mite feces.

      1. Roger wow I’ve never heard of that before I wonder if that’s my problem.

  2. I wonder which ingredient in pizza is causing your reaction?….Some spice?…have you isolated the ingredients to break down the mystery?…Yes, I developed an allergy to shellfish….I ate shrimp all my life and then suddenly I developed an allergy to it…the doctor said that was a not so uncommon experience….

    1. Shirley, if I had to guess I would say it’s a spice. Very interesting to hear about your shellfish allergy now….maybe mine isn’t so strange then.

  3. Gosh, that’s no fun! I hope you figure out what’s triggering the reaction. Then maybe you can alter the recipe?


    1. Claudia yes if I have the nerve to try it again. I may make my homemade and see what happens then.

  4. Nancy Spears says:

    This is very concerning. The episodes are escalating. The next one may be much worse. Please see your doctor as soon as possible and have Benedryl on hand.

    1. Nancy, I agree they are escalating. Maybe my best bet is to just never eat pizza again.

      1. I’ve had a similar thing develop! I am 42. I love pizza but in the last year I’ve noticed after eating it the tops of my feet itch like crazy! It is worse with pizza from some places like Little Caesars. I think it’s a spice but haven’t been tested.

        1. Rhonda mine was worse with Little Caesars too you may be onto something there with the spices.

          1. My face became itchy when I ate little ceasurs also but this happened out of the blue and my bf shared the pizza with me I don’t understand what is going on

          2. Little Caesar’s did the same to me!!

        2. I love Dominos and I’m 43…started haplening about six months ago and now actual hives will break out on me when I eat it!! I did have to take Benadryl and I’m baffled. I do have other allergies (dust mites, shellfish)…I need to stop reading because I can’t get the visuals some are suggesting! LOL

          1. Topazlace says:

            I was told itchiness after eating pizza could be a reaction to the yeast in pizza…especially if u get very itchy behind your ears…never happened before, but does now…

  5. I agree that you should have Benadryl on hand, I became allergic to jalapeño peppers when I was older. Even though I try to avoid them, they can be in all sorts of items as an ingredient. I’ve learned the hard way to read labels! If it becomes more severe, you should have allergy testing done to help pinpoint the culprit.

    1. Brenda, I hadn’t thought whatever is causing it could be in other things. Hmmm you got me thinking now!

  6. Betsy Ritchie says:

    Sorry to hear this Dawn. I know someone who had a similar experience. Turns out she developed an allergy to wheat. Pies, pizzas, pasta, bread, etc. She still partakes now and again, but still has mild symptoms.

    1. Betsy, hmmm interesting I will definitely have to be more aware of what I eat and see if any similar symptoms occur with other foods. Why couldn’t I be allergic to Chocolate instead, LOL.

  7. Hi Dawn I love pizza too but would do what Linda suggested. When I hit my 40s I developed a very severe reaction
    to broccoli. Dr called it a sensitivity. Oh my it was awful like the worst flu x’s 2. A few years later same thing with eggs, scrambled, boiled etc. I deleted those from my diet for a long time and carefully tried them again. Broccoli needs to really well cooked (no Chinese food with broccoli) and I can eat eggs selectively. Maybe this thing is hormone related
    It is definitely a good idea to have anti-histamine on hand

    1. Sandy, I would guess it is hormone related getting close to that menopause age 🙁 and other strange things are going on like severe headaches. Now I could give up broccoli, but pizza……I love that stuff. Thanks for the advice 🙂

      1. I’m 40 and went through surgical menopause from November 2021, but I’ve just started to experience severe itching on my lower legs. I had a Domino’s pizza tonight and one a few weeks ago and then I suddenly started with this itching, so I googled it and found this page. I don’t think it’s a hormone thing, but I couldn’t 100% rule it out. I really want to know what exactly is causing this! Pizza is one of my favourite takeaway foods. I’d hate to have to give it up!

  8. crafty.grandma says:

    Sorry to hear about your new found allergy. When I was pregnant with my son (who is now almost 34), I developed a rash every time I ate spaghetti, lasagna, pizza or tomatoes. Yep it was a reaction to the tomatoes….fast forward today – 34 years later – every now and then when I eat tomatoes, I break out in a rash…it’s the acid in my body. Two Christmas’ ago, my daughter was getting ready to come here and drinking a cup of tea. She showered and when she got out her face was all swollen and distorted (she looked like an alien)!! Her husband called my son to come watch the kids who called us to come to watch the kids!! LOL!! She spent a week in the hospital going through tests. By the time she got to the hospital, and they only stopped at the pharmacy to get some Benadryl, (45 minutes drive) they had to give her an inhaler immediately. She now wears a bracelet and carries an epi pin….all because of an herbal tea!!! which was not new, had drank it many times before. Doctor said as your body changes (she was 38), you can develop allergies….this is someone that never had an allergy except for shellfish which again was at her bf wedding she swelled up like a harpoon…someone had benadryl and she was ok except that she never eats shellfish!!! AS our bodies get older, we get different reactions or it could be that whatever they are putting in the food causes a reaction. It’s not easy to find the common ground.

    1. Sounds like age is the factor for sure, everything goes south after 40 apparently in more ways than one. LOL

  9. I just stumbled on your blog… but I developed an allergy to nuts as an adult (I carry an epi pen). But I get the face flush, as I call it, when I have certain foods that have preservatives or MSG. I also carry Benadryl with me when I don’t need the epi pen. There is blood work that can be done (RASP test) to check on allergies, but I also did the skin tests. It is tough getting older!!

    1. Sue, first thank you for dropping by today and hope you come back again 🙂 I will have to drop some Benadryl in my bag too, but yes age is what’s doing it and I hope it stops at pizza.

  10. Dawn, I have heard of this with others and pizza. My first thought is gluten but if you can eat other foods with gluten then that’s not the culprit. I believe someone suggested a spice along the comments; that may be it.

    Pooh, not fun. Hope you get it resolved soon.

    1. Windi, yes I don’t think gluten is what’s doing it and I can eat cheese so that’s not it. Im thinking its something in the sauce. I will have to give my homemade a go and see what happens. I’m a little leery to try any pizza now.

  11. Beverly Nelson says:

    Hi Dawn, love your creativity! So sorry to hear about your allergy. This may help to know. I went to 4 or 5 Dr.’s because I got hives, itching, stinging and that hot flushed feeling after eating or drinking certain things. Finally, an allergist who is a professor at a medical school diagnosed an allergy to any food or medicine that has salicylates. It’s a chemical found in tomatoes, citrus fruit, potatoes, aspirin, and many other things. I have to read labels to avoid this. He also prescribed Zyrtec antihistamine, which you can now get over the counter. I take one every morning. If I miss a dose, I start itching and stinging, etc. I’ve also had all my Dr.’s put that I’m allergic to aspirin, and certain foods, on my medical chart. Before this Dr. discovered the cause of my allergy, my mouth started stinging and went numb and the back of my throat began to swell. There is something called anaphylactic shock that you can have. My mom had this from eating shrimp after age 40. Take care & good luck, Bev

    1. Beverly, Wow very interesting…. I had a severe injury about 2 years ago and took so many aspirin I now have side affects from it, I wonder if that has caused some of this?

      1. Beverly Nelson says:

        Dawn, in my email I forgot to mention that aspirin is high in salicylates. That’s why the Dr. told me to have all my medical records include an aspirin allergy. Before I began having allergic reactions, I had injured my back and was taking lots of aspirin. You did us all a favor by mentioning your allergic reaction. I told my husband about all the responses to your blog and he was amazed that people can suddenly develop an allergic reaction to a food or ingredient they’ve ingested for years. He had a severe reaction to sulfa drugs. Let us hear how you’re doing, Bev

        1. Beverly, very interesting I think the aspirin triggered mine. I will keep you updated once I try my own pizza.

  12. Hey there! Did you ever find out what it was in the pizza? I am having the same problems. Help!

    1. Jennifer it’s sugar, preservatives, and gluten.

  13. Lisa mccall says:

    I have that same reaction because Little Caesar’s Pizza is full of MSG…makes me feel like my face is sunburned!

  14. Yes me I use to eat pizza all kinds I cant now. Im very alleric to it now and I don’t know why. I believe it is the bread.

    1. Evelita, I’ve decided its the sugar in everything as long as I eat zero sugar things improve for me.

  15. Hi, for me it’s the same except it’s my scalp that starts itching. I’ve switched to Gluten Free Pizza with no problem. Sugar (too much), will do the same. I will sometimes have one slice of regular pizza (craving cheese), and a Loratadine. It’s the inflammation and possible gluten and sugar intolerance.

    1. Nerina I know sugar doesn’t agree with me. It makes me fat and messes with my eyesight 🙁

  16. I had a brain tumor too. Started itching like crazy after eating ANY kind of Barley (quality pizza from Italy doesn’t have Barley). Most Pizza in USA does. Barley, Malted Barley, Malted Barley Exract, Malt, Maltodextrin, Maltose, Malitol and Fructan is my short list. That said it could be candida too. But what got my attention is the Brain tumor part because I have started itching whenever I eat anything. Just now I started eating a salad. No way that it has hit my bloodstream yet, Just took first bite!! So it can’t be candida right?

    1. Frank wow that’s strange I’ve never heard of it being a tumor, very interesting.

      1. It makes no sense to me but maybe it could be the hormone replacements (Hydrocortisone) making our systems vulnerable…

  17. I have. I just ate two slices of Tony’s Pizza. And my face started itching. I did this before with my homemade pizza. I thought at first it was the cheese. But my mom gave me some mini pizza plain cheese pizza and I did just fine. And I ate a mini red baron pizza the other day and did fine. I’m thinking maybe the peporoni, something in the sauce or even some kind of preservatives that I could be allergic too. This happened to me just this year. And Pizza is one of my favorite foods.

  18. I ate Lil Ceasar pizza today my face is itchy There must something in the pizza !

  19. I had their pepperoni pizza and I’m itchy with hives too. I get hives off and on for many years. I suspect it’s the gluten or has something to do with candida. But I haven’t been to an allergist to confirm.

  20. My 16 year old son has the same reaction and his forehead breaks out with bumps. it just happened for the 3rd time. This only when he eats Little Ceasars. It does not hsppen with the other brands.

  21. David Haupert says:

    Just found your blog after searching for the same reactions from pizza. I had it happen to me a few weeks ago after eating pizza from a local pizzeria – neck, ears and face became all hot and red and had chills. My wife gave me a Benadryl and it went away after a few minutes. Since then I have had pizza again at least a few times but tonight eating a totinos frozen pizza it happened again. I can’t believe it- pizza is my favorite food in the world!

    Also what could it be about pizza to make us allergic? I don’t think it’s bread or wheat as I eat that all the time by itself and certainly cheese as well. I do eat tomatoes fairly often but in smaller quantities so it seems unlikely. Not much else in a plain cheese pizza so I’m a bit stumped. See the mention of msg, sugar, gluten etc on here. Will have to check on totinos label for msg.

    1. David I’m stumped too. I can eat all those foods separately without issue. The only thing I can think of is maybe it’s the italian seasoning in pizza. I too love pizza and it makes me mad I can’t eat it any longer. I notice mine was the worst with Little Caesars Pizza..

  22. Hey Dawn,

    I’m 27 and I’ve been having this reaction as well. I think it’s the fast food pizza restaurants like Papa Johns or Little Ceasers, At least for me. I wonder if they’re putting some spice in the food hm..

    When I eat pizza at the local pizzeria places it doesn’t happen to me at all.

    I’ve had this for three years and I thought I might have been hypoglycemia because the symptoms were similar. But maybe it’s just the fast food pizzas doing this to me. I think I’ll go to a nutritionist soon and see what they say.

    1. Lilly, I have the most trouble with Little Ceasers too! When I make my own pizza at home it doesn’t happen either. I am also hypoglycemic, my nutritionist thinks it’s a gluten intolerance.

  23. I came across this blog while searching for reasons why my lips are swollen after eatung Little Cesars! It has happened 3 or 4 times now and Im thinking it might have to do with the garlic butter that they use on their bread sticks. I need to get this figured out!

  24. Shweta Singh says:

    I am having the same problem. I had pizza yesterday and started itching all over body, mainly face then i had pizza today and same thing. So annoyed.

  25. I have been researching allergies to spices, preservatives and ingredients in garlic sauces/butters too because I had an intense skin allergy when I spilled Papa John’s sauce on my skin because it leaked from the box. If it does this to my skin, I hate to think of the effects from ingesting it! It’s so perplexing because the ingredients listed don’t normally trigger severe reactions, but the “natural ingredients,” listed are unknown. It could be a combination of these natural ingredients and the lactic acid. Lactic acid is also in most pizza dough, I’ve noticed. If food manufacturers were required to list what is in the components of “natural ingredients,” this would be easier to decipher. This makes me definitely want to steer clear of foods with preservatives and try to stick with whole foods and less packaged and processed foods!

  26. My 6 year old son has had this issue with certain pizzas and we have yet to figure out the culprit. He has been allergy tested and all of the major allergens came back negative, our allergist said we could go down a rabbit hole trying to find the cause. However, I’m not convinced…there has got to be a way to find the common denominator in all of this! He reacts to: Little Caesar’s, AlDI take and bake meat pizza, and Mike’s supreme (Food Lion brand of frozen pizza) but there are pizzas of the ALDI brand and of Mike’s that he has with no issue. My husband thinks it maybe a preservative that is used in meats.

    1. My 6 year old son too has been battling a body rash. We’ve been to drs, allergist, dermatologist and skin tested for food. No known allergies. It was clearing up and 99% gone til he ate a cheese pizza from little ceasars. Immediately itching (at grandmas at the time) got a bath with skin sensitivity soap and still itching. Next morning, he came home and rash all over upper torso again. Itching more! We cannot figure out exact ingredient but researching other comments.

  27. My reactions started at 53. Pizza is my favorite food and this is torturous. Mine started with a soft baked pretzel. Itchy palms, Itchy scalp and then head to toe hives with one so big it ran the length of my bra band. I had to go to an urgent care clinic where I got benadryl and prednisone. Two more reactions with pizza but I took benadryl on my own and was okay. Just over a week ago I had regular pizza. I was mostly gluten free but on this night i tempted fate and got more than I bargained for. My symptoms worsened this time, almost 2 hours after eating, I was itchy and profusely sweating and felt faint. I was already sitting down and felt ill. I thought I was having a heart attack. My blood pressure was 50/43. I was taken to the ER via ambulance. Skin tests revealed nothing. Waiting on blood tests. Its crazy.

    1. WOW, I’m not alone! My pizza allergies have gotten worse and it’s terrible being from NYC and having grown up eating pizza! I have discovered that only certain pizza makes me sick. Costco and now Papa Johns. Someone mentioned malt barley…both companies use this in their dough. And also…NYC bagels use malt barley it’s for thickening the dough. Well hopefully someone finds something solid about this problem…till then no more pizza for me!

      1. I’ve had the same problem pop up with Pizza for me. One thing I suspect is soybean oil, which is apparently making its way into a lot of sauces like pizza sauce. My mom is allergic to soy, so that’s what makes me think that could be my problem as well.

  28. Hi I just found your blog…I’ve been dealing with hives from eating pizza for years now. I still have yet to figure it out. It doesn’t happen all the time. I can eat the same pie on two separate days and I will only get it on one day and not the next. It makes no sense!!!

  29. Pizza Problem Pete says:

    I also get hives from pizza and creamy soups as well and sometimes very sick. This started at age 55. The weird thing is i can eat pizza from one local place without a problem. I won’t eat any other pizza or creamy soup as the reaction is too scary. As I sometimes faint and throw up as well as the rash. Also bathroom issues.

  30. I started by having reactions only to Dominoes pizza. Hives head to toe with one particularly large lump on my head in the exact same place every time.
    Little Caesar’s started giving problems about six months after that. Now it’s almost all pizza. It sucks. Literally just tried a local pizza and found this because I was searching possible causes.

    I’m going to be getting allergy testing done. I have no other allergies other than freshly cut cedar.

  31. I just started getting the same thing from pizza, I’ve only had frozen so far, and I get itchy rash looking on both wrist,a nutritionist told me I was probably sensitive to gluten, and to stop eating it for a while see what happens, I have no problem with bread

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