Palm/coconut allergies

Posted on: Tue, 01/29/2008 - 12:33am
BitsnBearsMom's picture
Joined: 07/28/2004 - 09:00

My 8yo ds has lived with allergies all his life - had his first anaphylactic reaction at 6 months old to the dairy based formula in the infant cereal we gave him.
He's outgrown many of the allergies (dairy, eggs, peanuts - was always a questionable one as the test was so small, beef) and is still allergic to many tree nuts and last year we found out he was allergic to coconut too.
It's the coconut and palm oils that are causing us the problem as we (our allergist's nurse and I) now think he might be allergic to palm oil as well. It's starting the same way the coconut allergy did - started with a super sore stomach then progressed to vomiting if he eats anything with coconut in it - also complained of a tingly tongue after eating shredded coconut before he was dx.
Anyway - wondreing if anyone has any info on a palm/palm oil allergy? Can't seem to find much - he doesn't go to the allergist again until next year (unless we feel we need to go)
We are eliminating it but finding it hard.... palm oil and coconut oil are in the weirdest places and most foods that don't contain tree nuts have either palm or coconut oil in it. I do bake most of his treats/bread at home but it would be nice to have SOME convenience foods that we can grab and go.

The tree nut allergy seems so much easier to manage then these new ones!! Any advice/info would be appreciated.

Posted on: Tue, 02/05/2008 - 11:52pm
falcon's picture
Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

My son has a positive RAST to coconut but hasn't reacted to it so far. We do avoid things that have coconut in it but he seems to tolerate the derivatives ok...I have been concerned about all the lotions, soaps, shampoos, etc that contain derivatives that get lathered all over his body...seems better to avoid that but hard to find shampoos, soaps, lotions,etc. that do not contain coconut derivatives...we use kiss my face olive soaps and vanicream shampoo, but I think the shampoo might have derivatives...we have been using it w/o incident so I haven't checked recently.
Do you avoid lotions, etc. with coconut derivatives? If so, what do you use for shampoo, soap, skin cream, sunscreen? Thanks.

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2008 - 8:40pm
BitsnBearsMom's picture
Joined: 07/28/2004 - 09:00

We do try to avoid them.... the soaps and shampoos I've come across in Canada for kids doesn't seem to contain coconut.... wondering about that new foam soap I bought him now that's drying out his face really bad. Usually he uses Jergens bar soap but this was something new we tried.
The sunscreen we use is Ombrelle and I've called to make sure it's ok.
He hasn't had a rast for the coconut yet but they will be doing another round of the rast next spring when we go back again.
The nice thing I learned from the AAIA is that coconut oil is heavy and expensive to use so the companies (in Canada) are trying to get away from it even though it's a healthier oil. Palm oil is high in saturated fat and they are trying to find healthier alternatives for that too in Canada at least!

Posted on: Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:14am
falcon's picture
Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

Thanks - can you suggest a moisturizer? And would appreciate if you would share the name of a shampoo and soap? Maybe I can get it on line. Thanks.

Posted on: Mon, 02/11/2008 - 9:59am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

I use Lubiderm for Sensitive Skin...available at Wal-Mart. No dyes, fragrances etc.
For shampoo, I use Free and Clear. Free of dyes, fragrance etc. I buy it online at
They also have conditioner, hair spray etc.

Posted on: Sat, 04/05/2008 - 6:55am
Jana R's picture
Joined: 02/09/1999 - 09:00

I don't know if this will help but since lotions/shampoos etc don't need to label specifically for coconut (or other food allergens for that matter) you do need to check the source of those multisyllabic ingredients. This was a list I compiled five years ago - you would need to contact the manufacturer if any of these ingredients are in your products to see what they were derived from if you need to completely avoid coconut.

Posted on: Sun, 06/01/2008 - 11:25am
girlygirl's picture
Joined: 06/01/2008 - 18:17

Im allergic to coconut but have found an all naturl body shop that i get my soaps and things out. I use olive oil on my skin in stead of a cream or lotion. I know you said you have a son but makeup has it in it and Ive landed in the hospital from over the counter cought meds. Ive even found some toothpastes with it in it.

Posted on: Sun, 08/17/2008 - 9:04am
jbasile's picture
Joined: 08/17/2008 - 15:57

Joining in on the discussion. My eldest has peanut and treenut allergies, and sadly just learned that my youngest has those, plus coconut and citrus too! So sad.
We've recently "gone green" around here and were using all organic cleansers. Guess what they ALL have - COCONUT. I'm feeling so guilty for coating him with coconut (although I had no idea he was allergic...)
Any advice for a newbie here?

Posted on: Sat, 11/29/2008 - 10:58am
BitsnBearsMom's picture
Joined: 07/28/2004 - 09:00

Still not alot of advice from me as we're still having a hard time dealing with the coconut/palm oil allergies here. the reactions are getting worse and we're finding coconut oil in the oddest foods/places - most chapsticks I'm finding contain either palm oil or coconut oil.
You have to do alot of calling to manufacturer's to get the ingredients.
We have an appointment with the allergist on Feb 5th so I'm hoping we can get more info about it. The coconut/palm seem much more difficult to manage then the nut allergies.

Posted on: Mon, 01/12/2009 - 4:55pm
Itchyknee's picture
Joined: 01/12/2009 - 23:47

Don't forget about sodium lauryl sulfate, which is derived from palm oil. It is the substance that causes foaming. I have dermatitis and believe it is from palm oil. Once I kept from eating it at home and using it in my detergent, the shampoos weren't too bad since I could rinse them off. Most kids don't actually need a lot of SOAP on their bodies to get clean, we are just fooled into thinking they do! Also, beware the "natural" dishwashing detergents and laundry soaps...they almost ALL have palm and/or coconut oil in them. And did you know that almost every infant formula has one or the other in it? No wonder so many kids have allergies now!! The best thing was, once I eliminated MOST (unfortunately, not all) palm or coconut oil from my diet, not only did my dermatitis get under control, but the arthritis I thought I had went away too! Wish we could get Andrew Weil working on this, don't you?

Posted on: Fri, 07/24/2009 - 12:00am
elmo472's picture
Joined: 07/24/2009 - 06:49

Well I'm a 13 yr old girl who loves all the foods I'm allergic to because of this stupid coconut/palm allergy that i have. This completely sucks. I'm allergic to Cornpops, movie theater popcorn, Skittles, Twizzlers, Butterfingers, Pecan Twirls, restaurant margarine (in the packages), gummy worms, ALL of the Little Debbie cakes, Oreos and Oreo Cakesters (in all of the flavors, too!), and Three Musketeers. I'm not sure if I'm allergic to the Three Musketeers Mint yet. The odd thing about my allergy is that I use Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo and that has coconut in it. Hmmm... Maybe it's only if I ingest it.



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