Auriculotemporal (Frey) syndrome in late childhood: an unusual variant presenting as gustatory flushing mimicking food allergy

Pediatr Dermatol. Mar-Apr 2000;17(2):126-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1470.2000.01729.x.


Auriculotemporal or Frey syndrome is characterized mainly by recurrent episodes of facial gustatory flushing and/or sweating, limited to the cutaneous distribution of the auriculotemporal nerve. Although relatively common in adults following injury to the auriculotemporal nerve or parotid disease, the condition has rarely been reported in children. Moreover, in childhood, auriculotemporal syndrome has been described mainly in infancy and early childhood as a sequel of perinatal birth trauma resulting from assisted forceps delivery. We report a 13-year-old girl with a 2-month history of recurrent, painless, preauricular gustatory flushing without sweating, initially suspected to be a food allergy. Detailed inquiry revealed a history of a bicycle accident with mandibular condyle fracture 7 years prior to the onset of symptoms. Our patient demonstrates an unusual presentation of auriculotemporal syndrome in late childhood as gustatory flushing mimicking food allergy. Awareness of this variant is essential for prompt recognition, thus avoiding unnecessary laboratory tests, especially as this condition usually resolves spontaneously.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Sweating, Gustatory / diagnosis*
  • Sweating, Gustatory / physiopathology