Thank you for your recent inquiry.
Both acorns and chestnuts are a member of the plant family called Fagaceae. This family is different from those of tree nuts (almond, walnut, hickory, pecan, cashew). The substances that produce allergy in acorns and chestnuts are therefore different than those that produce allergy to the other tree nuts. To my knowledge, there is no risk of a patient with nut allergy having a reaction to contact with acorns or with leaves of any sort. I could not find any evidence for such risk on an Internet search.
The only allergy reaction to acorns that I am aware of occurs in areas of the world where they are eaten, and occurs to the ingestion of the acorn. In this instance the allergy is separate from nut allergy.
Should you wish to read about this in a little more detail, there is an excellent and concise summary written by Lynn Christie, M.S.R.D. for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. It is available free of charge online. You can "Google" a search using Ms. Christie's name, or the website is: http://www.schoolhealthservicesny.com/uploads/Acorns%20Pinecones.pdf. Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.
Phil Lieberman, M.D.
Key Words: acorns, tree nuts, food allergy