Frog Allergy: Leapin’ Lizards, My First Case in 25 Years!
[updated August 2019]
After 25 years of practicing allergy, I have diagnosed and treated patients with allergies from many creatures that roam our beautiful earth. I have:
- Successfully treated hundreds of children and adults allergic to cats and dogs.
- Had amazing results treating patients with horse allergy, one who was a competitive equestrian rider.
- Had a laboratory assistant who was allergic to and worked with rabbits. I helped him keep his job through treatment. There were also school children who loved their class bunnies but were allergic. I treated them with great results.
- Guinea pigs and hamsters are popular pets. I have successfully treated several children who were allergic to them but refused to give them up.
But I came up against a new animal allergy that I hadn’t treated before.
A New Animal Allergy
I thought I had seen and treated every possible animal or pet-related allergy. That is until this past week when an adorable 6-year-old boy I have been treating (with my sublingual drops) for severe pollen allergy showed me a picture of the frog he picked up near his home.
The frog was not like the adorable Kermit the frog we all have come to love from Sesame Street. It was more like a toad. But that didn’t bother me. My bigger concern was what the boy’s mother told me. She said the two times her son picked up this frog he developed a full allergy body rash.
Her question was “Is he allergic to frogs?” I had to be honest, I had never experienced or even knew of a case of frog allergy. But I assumed it was possible and told her I would look into it.
Frog Allergy Is Real
It turns out frog allergy does exist in medical reports. It is rare, but the few documented cases in which individuals are allergic to frogs are interesting to note.
One case involved a lab worker who was dissecting frogs for medical experiments. He developed a rash and had trouble breathing after he prodded his finger with a needle that had been exposed to frog tissue. The report states they did special blood tests that confirmed he was indeed allergic to the frog.
Another case is not for the queasy stomach types. A 6-year-old girl was admitted to hospital for an episode of a severe allergic reaction after eating boiled frog legs. You may know frog legs are a delicacy in France. Thank goodness, Americans think of corned beef as our deli treat.
It is important to note for hygienic purposes that frogs (in Latin Rana esculenta) are not the cleanest amphibians. They also secrete numerous oils and toxins on their skin to keep predators away. As my patient’s reaction was just a rash, he may have had an irritant reaction from touching the skin of this frog instead of an existing frog allergy.
Either way, my recommendations for my patient are no touching the frog without gloves in the future, and definitely no frog legs for dinner!
– Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC
About the Author – Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D.
Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. is a Board Certified Allergist and Immunologist based out of NYC. He graduated from the Sackler School of Medicine and completed training at the Robert Cooke Allergy Institute in New York City. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the author of Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution: The Ultimate Program for Reversing Your Symptoms One Drop at a Time. Dr. Dean Mitchell, M.D. has also been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Fitness Magazine, Dr. Oz and News NY 1. Dr. Mitchell also hosts the podcast The Smartest Doctor in the Room – a combination of a lively, personal and in-depth interview with top healthcare specialists.
photo courtesy of hmomoy