What are cross allergies?

For this answer we will assume "cross allergies" refers to cross-reactivity. Allergies are caused by your body recognizing something as "foreign." Your immune system produces antibodies to recognize these. Although the actual process of creating antibodies is slightly more complicated, they essentially recognize foreign objects by chemical "shape" and attach to them. Once an antibody is attached, the body's immune system can use various tools to try to take care of or get rid of the foreign item. If the antibodies come into contact with another item that has a similar "shape," cross-reactivity occurs because once the antibody is attached, your body assumes it has attached to the original allergy-causing item. This cross-reactivity is what causes cross allergies.

Continue Learning about Allergies



About one out of five Americans suffers from allergies. An allergy is an exaggerated response from the immune system to a substance such as dust, pollen, pet dander or mold. Other common triggers include foods such as peanuts and ...

milk; insect bites; and certain ingredients in cosmetics and jewelry. Allergies can cause anything from rashes and hives to itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and wheezing.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.