I really like (sour ) lemon and I often eat it, the fruit itself or added to food or drinks. I noticed that whenever I want to eat lemon, my head's skin starts to sweat and it becomes completely wet. The odd thing is that this sweating happens even when I just want to skin the lemon and I don't want to eat it right away. My head's sweating stops 2 or 3 minutes after finishing my job with lemon.

P.S. I also asked my physician about that but she said it's nothing and I can continue having lemons. Is that really nothing?!

  • I have the same issue I don't know why I noticed my biological dad has the same issue while eating lemons or even just think about them my head starts to sweat..
    – Trent
    Feb 20, 2018 at 2:29
  • 1
    Look up Pavlovian conditioning Feb 20, 2018 at 3:11
  • 1
    Is it only associated with raw lemons or also, lemon juice, ice cream, etc.? What about other citrus fruits or other foods? Is it only sweating or also itching or any gastrointestinal problem?
    – Jan
    Feb 20, 2018 at 8:06
  • @Jan Raw lemon, lemon juice, pickled things in vinegar. Sometimes itching. No gastro. problem happen.
    – Vynylyn
    Feb 21, 2018 at 7:16

1 Answer 1


Head sweating and flushing after eating or just smelling or thinking about a certain food is called gustatory sweating.


Gustatory sweating: Sweating on the forehead, face, scalp, and neck occurring soon after ingesting food. Some gustatory sweating is normal after eating hot, spicy foods. Otherwise, gustatory sweating is most commonly a result of damage to a nerve that goes to the parotid gland, the large salivary gland in the cheek. In this setting, referred to as Frey syndrome, the sweating is usually on one side of the head. Gustatory sweating is also a rare complication of diabetes mellitus. In this case sweating may occur on both sides of the head, with mild or substantial severity.

Medical News Today has an easy to read article about Frey syndrome and other types of gustatory sweating. The main point is that the nerve that supplies the parotid gland is affected in some way: congenitally, by trauma, surgery, tumor, etc.

There are several reports about such sweating triggered by sour foods, orange juice, tomatoes, onions, candies, various snacks...(PubMed) and there are several articles about Frey syndrome.

A doctor can make a diagnosis of Frey syndrome by performing a simple iodine-starch test.

Treatment is by removal of an underlying cause, but often no cause can be identified.

Food allergy or intolerance to histamine can cause head sweating, usually associated with itching around the mouth and in the throat (Better Health Channel).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.