Kissing, wearing cosmetics and jewelry, tattoos and piercings, and even your cell phone could bring on serious allergic reactions. And allergists are learning how to look for and treat reactions to “Life’s Pleasures.”
Allergists, allergist marketing professionals and the news media attending the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Meeting earlier this month heard from national experts on this topic.
The pursuit of beauty has an allergy risk for many, and physicians should provide patients with a list of products to substitute for allergy-causing cosmetics, according to ACAAI presenter Dr. Luz Fonacier, professor of clinical medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Cosmetic allergies represent 21.8 percent of patients who are referred for patch testing, according to Dr. Fonacier. An average adult applies about 12 personal hygiene products. “This is anything you rub, pour, sprinkle or spray on your body for cleansing, beautifying and promoting attractiveness,” she said. “You cannot convince a female to avoid cosmetics. You need to offer substitutes and alternatives.”
Other “pleasures” may be risky, and some at a younger age. When patients react to jewelry, the typical culprits are nickel and gold. Because girls are getting piercings at younger ages and young people are opting for multiple body piercings, early sensitization is on the rise.
People with nickel allergies can experience a reaction to cell phones. Although it’s not clear how many individuals may have had this reaction to cell phones, nickel allergy afflicts about three percent of men and nearly 20 percent of women nationwide.
Kissing can trigger a reaction in individuals with food and medicine allergy when the allergen is present in saliva. An alternative is for the non-allergic partner to brush their teeth, use mouth rinse, and avoid the offending food for 16-24 hours before kissing.
There’s more about the ACAAI meeting here. And there’s more allergist marketing information and allergy medical marketing on our website.