Melon Allergy

All About a Melon and Ragweed Allergy

Ragweed allergy can trigger an allergy to melons. © Kansas Department of Agriculture

Melon Allergy

You might be allergic to various types of melons, and you also probably have allergic rhinitis caused by ragweed pollen. These symptoms are most likely due to an oral allergy syndrome caused by melons. The oral allergy syndrome (OAS) is a form of food allergy that is caused by a person having an allergy to particular pollen. The pollen, in this case ragweed pollen, has similar proteins (called profilins) found in a certain fruit, in this case melons, which causes a person to be allergic to both.

When a fresh melon is eaten, a person may experience itching, burning, or stinging sensations of the mouth, throat and tongue. The symptoms generally last only a few seconds or minutes, as the proteins that cause the symptoms are broken down quickly by saliva. People with ragweed allergy may also notice symptoms of OAS with eating fresh bananas and cucumbers.

Want to find out more? Read the full-length article on the oral allergy syndrome.


Sicherer SH. Clinical Implications of Cross-Reactive Food Allergens. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001; 108:881-90.

Ortolani C, Ispano M, Pastorella EA, Ansaloni R, Magri GC. Comparison of Results of Skin Prick Tests and RAST in 100 Patients with Oral Allergy Syndrome. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1989; 83:683-90.

Sampson HA. Adverse Reactions to Foods. In: Adkinson NF, Yunginger JW, Busse WW, et al, eds. Middleton’s Allergy Principles and Practice. 6th edition.

Philadelphia: Mosby Publishing; 2003:1619-1643.

Continue Reading