Ah, Valentine’s Day: A time for love, passion … and allergens. Unfortunately for people with allergies, the holiday can result in not only a shot from Cupid’s arrow, but also one from an EpiPen.
Here are some common allergies associated with the day:
When you think of Valentine’s Day, you think of candy; maybe even those heart-shaped boxes of assorted chocolates that — once you inevitably lose the key on the inside cover — end up being a game of chance as to what you’re getting. Even if you are able to hold onto the key, you’ll find that the mix is a treasure trove of common allergy triggers: eggs, milk, nuts, wheat, gelatin and food coloring. Instead, opt for allergy-free candies. With a variety of flavors and ingredients, these safer treats are sure to please any sweetie with a sweet tooth.
Also, before you toast to your love with wine, be aware that wine may also cause an allergic reaction. Both red and white wine contain histamine and sulfite, in varying concentrations, and can cause alcohol intolerance in some people. For more information on wine allergies, click here.
Flowers are another staple of Valentine’s Day, but for people with pollen allergies, blooming bouquets may not make the best gifts. However, not all plants induce symptoms. For a list of allergy-friendly flowers and foliage, visit the Flower Shop Network Bloomin’ Blog. (Note: When ordering flowers, ask if any additional fragrance has been sprayed on them, because if your allergy-free flowers are coated with an allergen, your good intentions are moot.)
Diamonds may be girl’s best friend, but not if they’re set in nickel. According to Mayo Clinic, nickel allergy is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis, and many people don’t realize that it’s a major component of jewelry. If you want to give your nickel-sensitive honey a token of your love, don’t dismay, heed WebMD’s advice:
Make sure [the] jewelry is made of surgical-grade stainless steel or either 14-, 18- or 24-karat yellow gold. White gold may contain nickel. Other nickel-free metals include pure sterling silver, copper, platinum and titanium. Polycarbonate plastic is okay. If you buy [the allergic person] earrings that contain nickel, add plastic covers made specifically for earring studs.
Yes, there really is something called “kissing allergies,” and we’re not talking about the “cooties” that tormented our childhood. A kissing allergy occurs when someone who is highly allergic to a particular food or medication kisses someone who has just ingested the allergen. Therefore, if you take your shellfish-allergic date out for dinner, you won’t want to order the oysters rockefeller. And if you do, wait a few hours before delivering that smooch.
When it comes to gift-giving on Valentine’s Day, it may be the thought that counts, but a romantic evening can go sour quickly if one of you has an allergic reaction. And really, when it comes down to it, what could be more thoughtful than than keeping your Valentine’s heath and safety in mind?
If you or someone you love suffers from allergies, schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians at CT Sinus Center to see how we can help. For more information on all things allergies, visit our website and blog.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours from CT Sinus Center!