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Top NYC allergist, Dr. Clifford Bassett, cautions you can be Allergic to Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day often comes with exposures that may provoke unsuspecting allergy triggers. Gifts such as candy, scented and fragranced products may come with associated allergic reactions. Each year in the weeks just after Valentine’s Day, we see an abundance of new and existing patients who believe they may have developed a skin or food allergy,” says Dr. Bassett.

With COVID-19 occupying our minds, Dr. Bassett stated, “People need to continue to be vigilant about their day to day health, including being cognizant regarding and recognizing their possible allergies.”

“For women who don’t regularly wear makeup but do so on Valentine’s Day, it is important to understand that many facial cosmetics, skincare products and moisturizers may contain hidden allergens and skin irritants that may create puffy eyelids or a bumpy rash on your face. If your Valentine is using a fragrance, cosmetic or even a shaving cream that you’re sensitive to, you can experience an allergic reaction,” stated Dr. Bassett. The doctor’s in-office skin allergy tests are available to confirm such allergic hypersensitivities.

Purchasing a piece of jewelry for your Valentine can also result in a potential allergy trigger for those who are sensitive to metals. The most common metal allergy is nickel (commonly found in jewelry). The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology noted that even chrome-plated, 14K and 18K gold may contain nickel that can irritate the skin.

It’s no secret that one of the most popular gifts on Valentine’s Day are bouquets. However, flowers can wreak havoc with sneezing attacks and watery eyes, affecting one’s physical appearance. Some of the most common allergy-prone flowers include daisies (Gerber’s), dahlias, asters, ordinary sunflowers, lilies, lilacs, and baby’s breath. Some better allergy-friendlier options for Valentine’s Day may include unscented orchids, hybrid tea roses, peonies, tulips, iris, daffodil, and snapdragon. Strongly scented products, incense, and candles may also pose a problem to those who are particularly sensitive, and may lead to unpleasant sneezing, unsightly watery and puffy eyes.

Dr. Bassett advises that individuals who may have known allergies or sensitivities to err on the side of caution this Valentine’s Day to avoid cutting an otherwise romantic experience short due to an unpleasant and unwanted allergy and/or reactions.

About Dr. Clifford Bassett

Dr. Clifford Bassett is an adult and pediatric allergy specialist in NYC and author of a leading book for consumers, “The New Allergy Solution.” He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. 

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