Saturday, November 01, 2014

Thursday, January 22, 2009 Britt-Marie Cosgrove, Community Member, asks

Q: Can you get itchy skin from Splenda, a sugar substitute?

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Answers (5)
2/ 2/09 3:14am

In general, food allergies do not cause external skin symptoms. They might cause itching of the throat and mouth. But different people DO react differently, so your best bet is to contact your doctor and get yourself or whoever you're concerned about evaluated.


To your health,


margya, Community Member
8/17/09 8:29am

I can't believe im readking the above about in general food not causing external skin this a joke.  Of course they do, sure you will have heard of the typical internal reactions like coughing, difficulty breathing etc but there are the more common external reactions like hives, itching, mouth and face swelling from food.  I suffer from allergies to food ie sugar and mayonnaise make me break out in hives, so do seafood (more hives accompanied by vomiting and fever).  My friend's lips swell and she gets an itchy throat from eating prawns.  My father consumed a crap load of mangoes when he was younger and suddenly developed an allergy to them, the mango sap makes his skin swell in blisters and the smell makes him ill not to mention the mango flesh and juice itself.


I would forget seeing a doctor avoid these foods completely esp seeing Splenda is bad for your health to begin with and if at all eat very little refined foods and focus on making fruits and fresh raw and cooked veg a big part of your diet, it's helped me immensley.

8/17/09 12:01pm

Yes, food allergies can cause hives, that's true. I guess I was talking about generally itchy skin and eczema type symptoms, which are not commonly associated with food allergies. However, as I DID say, allergies are not totally predictable and people can have very individualized reactions to allergens. But you can never just assume that something is a food allergy. And while your suggestion to focus on fresh & raw foods is an excellent one, your assertion to not bother seeing a doctor is NOT.


Any time you have an unexplained symptom or any health concern at all, it's a good idea to call your doctor to discuss it. Your doctor is the medical expert and can help you decide if a symptom is serious or needs to be treated. It's never a good idea to diagnose yourself.


Also, I did a bit more research on Splenda and found that skin rashes CAN be a side effect. Here is a very balanced report on the so-called dangers of Splenda vs. sugar written by a nurse practitioner:


To your health,


Vera, Community Member
8/ 1/11 9:42pm

Yes you can.   Splenda can cause many bad reactions.   I know several people including my husband who had adverse reactions to Splenda.   Don't use it.  It's a poison to your body.   Look up reactions to Splenda on the internet.  You'll understand what I'm saying is true. 

gp, Community Member
1/10/12 12:39am

As a pediatrician and Splenda fan, I would have been skeptical about Splenda causing an itchy rash - except that I recently had a moderately severe red rash on my back with more pruritis (itchiness) than I've had in decades, and I could not figure out why. And, fortuitously, happened to run into a blog site about Splenda causing itchy rashes from a multitude of flabbergasted Splenda users. There are also more reliable sites that note, in a more muted tone, that Splenda can cause itchy rashes. My itchy rash was so problematic that I just stopped using Splenda out of desperation to stop the problem. I already use loratadine (Claritin generic) daily. I used Eucerin Calming Shower Oil and hydrocortisone on my back, which helped sooth the itch. The rash resolved. But one harried morning, I chugged down a canned coffee. Several hours later, I couldn't figure out why my back was pink and itchy again! I checked the can's label: Splenda! And I now realize not only was the rash due to Splenda, but I had developed months of progressive gas pain and bloating - which I just assumed was part of my accelerated aging process. But, come to think of it, the gas problem is so much better since I've stopped Splenda! (Bummed . . . I like this stuff that's 600X sweeter than sugar!)

Morganati, Community Member
4/ 3/12 11:04pm

Just out of curiosity, how long were you using Splenda before you got the rash on your back? 


 Ive been using Splenda basically 5 days a week for the better part of 1.5 years and in the last week or so have run into rash like symptoms exactly like most people on this page.  Also found many other pages with almost everybody saying they haven't found anything that worked (doctors, dermatolgists, creams, ointments, antihistamines, steroids, etc). The only thing that I have found that seems definite is to stop using Splenda.  It seems like I would have noticed something sooner if this was really it. 



gp, Community Member
4/ 4/12 2:40am

I was using Splenda regularly for well over one year. Against my better judgment about an artificial sweetener, I was probably up to four packets per day. As a physician, I will say that developing an allergy after regular use for so long is not the more common scenario - but it can happen. You've probably heard people say, "I've developed an allergy to . . . !" One day, they will likely elucidate the mechanism of this latent Splenda allergy. Bummer that I stocked up on so much Starbucks bottled Lite Mocha Frappuccino's . . . and I seriously miss all that sweetness in my morning tea!!! But the Splenda back rash was so horrible that I'm avoiding Splenda "like the plague"!!! The best solution is to stop ingesting Splenda. My rash was slow to resolve, looked terrible, and was very ITCHY! (I probably already said that Eucerin Calming Shower Oil Wash and applying hydrocortisone (or a stronger steroid) immediately applied after a bath or shower helped take the edge off for me. I take loratadine (Claritin), but diphenhydramine HCl (Benedryl generic) or other anti-histamine may help decrease the rash and the itch (particularly prescription hydroxyzine or Atarax). Probably most physicans are not aware of Splenda rashes. I felt lucky to somehow see some blog comment about it, by chance. Good luck! :)

Deb, Community Member
12/21/12 3:24pm
I want to say I figured out my problem before Reading any of these great comments. I eat very Healthy but had been occasionally indulging in Chix filet diet lemonade which I love! I have isolated The terrible itchiness all over my body with this And I believe Splenda us the culprit - does not Hapoen when I drink the regular . I suffered all the way on a 5 hour plane ride Recently after I had Splenda laden lemonade before the trip Now I know !!!! Run from artificial sweeteners ! Reply
gp, Community Member
4/ 4/12 2:46am

As a pediatrician, I can tell you that plenty of my patients have "itchy" eczema exacerbations as a result of food allergies. Some of these patients outgrow this.

Kathi MacNaughton, Health Pro
4/12/12 3:41pm

Thanks, gp, for sharing your experiences. Sometimes anecdotal evidence is more important... or at least illuminating... than scientific proof. Food for thought... I used to use Splenda quite a lot (though not as much as you) and I did have trouble with skin rashes. Stopped using it in favor of Truvia; no longer have the rashes. Perhaps it was also linked in me?

Cyndi B, Community Member
11/ 8/12 11:27am

Thank you for the url. I now have a probable answer to why I have had insomnia, incredibly itchy skin and almost panic attacks.

Thank you so very much.

Cyndi B

Ryane, Community Member
8/27/12 12:40pm

Hi, I have been using splenda for at least 3 years.  Recently, for about the last 3 months, I started itching very badly on my arm.  I thought it might be stress or something but my doctor said that was doubtful and that it might have something in my diet or detergent I am reacting to.  I have a large cup of coffee with 2 splenda packs every morning... however, a few months ago I started using 3 instead and now that I think about it, that's when the itching started.  I have now switched to using Honey or Agave nectar instead, which are natural substitutes. 


Now, for those that say you don't "develop" allergies, you are wrong.  I have 2 kids and I can assure with that along with my feet growing a half size bigger (lol), I have also developed a few allergic reactions that I never had before... pregnancy changes your body in many ways.  I used to have no problem touching poison ivy (you only have a reaction if you are allergic to it) and now, I will have a rash reaction to it if I come in contact with it.


I am glad I found this blog, it helped to assure me that I was right.  Thank you.

MaggiGrace, Community Member
1/10/13 11:53pm
I just want to say that I LOVED Splenda... Used it for at least a year with no side effects... And then.... Holy Hellacious Horrific Hives... I developed hived on my chest, neck and inner arms... I would wake myself at night scratching myself bloody... It was horrible... I saw several doctors who pronounced it a "contact allergy" but I felt like -- whatever it was -- it was originating from the inside - out. I started REALLY paying attention to my diet... But had even begun baking with Splenda... One day - about 3 years into this awful hives thing -- I baked a blueberry pie with Splenda. I cut a tiny piece and was enjoying the heck out of it when BAMMMM.... Hives like I had never experienced. The only odd thing I had that day was the Splenda in my coffee, and now in this innocent piece of pie. It took 8 weeks before those hives were gone... The tiniest dose of Splenda / sucralose will STILL throw me back into 6-8 weeks of hives....(I learned this the hard way). But FINALLY... I have my answer. No Splenda? NO HIVES !!!! Reply
Marcella, Community Member
8/ 1/13 11:52am

OMG...after having a horrible rash on my arms and legs and not knowing what I ate that might have caused it...after going to the doctor and him prescribing Allegra which was not doing anything for this rash...I FINALLY came across this site and other sites of people that had the same issues.  And I realized it was Sucralose...  I love flavored creamers for my coffee...I had recently bought a new one from Coffee-Mate called 'Italian Creme'...Well it contained 'Sucralose'.  I had also been adding a vitamin supplement to my milk shakes that contained 'Sucralose'.  SO of course, I stopped drinking both.  A week later, my rash is almost gone.  My mother told me to buy the Aloe Vera plant and toast the leaf on a griddle to loosen the gooey stuff inside and then to rub that on my rash so that it sooth it and go away..  I tried that and it definitely worked.  I also bought an Aloe Vera Cream from HerbalLife called "Herbal Aloe--Soothing Gel" and I apply it to my rash whenever it starts itching.  Little by little it is going away...  Before doing all this I bought a lotion that someone had suggested on one of these sites called "Caladryl", its a pink bottle and it contains 'calamine plus itch reliever' and let me tell you that soothed the itching though the rash was not going away but it soothed the itching so that's all that mattered at the time, but the Aloe Vera actually made my rash go away...I hope this helps those of you going through the same thing... You are not alone, I don't know if that soothes you but it made me feel better to know I wasn't alone in this crazy scenario... 

bd, Community Member
9/ 4/13 9:28pm

The maltodextrin in Splenda is the cause of your hives.  Of this I am certain.  If you were to eat other products with maltodextrin, you would experience the same consequence.  The severity of your reaction (mild case of hives compared to severe) would depend on the amount of maltodextrin in the product.


It's not the's the MALTODEXTRIN in the Splenda.


Avoid maltodextrin, and you will not get hives.

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By Britt-Marie Cosgrove, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/23/14, First Published: 01/22/09