The holidays are rapidly approaching. Along with them come joy, friends and family, overeating, other traditions, and often unwanted rashes and allergies. What can possibly go wrong?

Let’s start with Thanksgiving.

It is very possible to have an allergy to the turkey. It is not common, but some food handlers will develop urticaria, or hives, when they touch the raw turkey. Once sensitized, contact will produce an immediate reaction.
Pecans, and other tree nuts can cause allergic reactions. The pecan is a tree nut, and a mild allergy can make the throat feel like cotton. A severe allergy can cause anaphylaxis, or inability to breathe. Increased exposure to the raw nut protein causes a more severe reaction than the oils do.
Balsam of Peru is a secretion that results from a tree that has been injured. Balsams are found in citrus fruit peels (such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruit) in marmalades, juice and bakery goods. Balsam of Peru is known to give off an odor similar to cinnamon and vanilla. Balsam of Peru, or one of its components can be found in tomatoes, chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and other spices, in addition to colas, sodas, and other flavored beverages. The best way to avoid exposure to Balsam of Peru, if you are indeed allergic (and patch testing is how we diagnose this allergy) is to avoid the above listed foods. Also, when cleaning up, avoid certain cleaning products which contain the balsam or related chemicals. Learn to read the labels listing ingredients.

And then there is Christmas.

In addition to what was written for Thanksgiving, the Christmas tree can be a source of allergies. Pollen from the pine trees can cause allergic reactions when inhaled or touched. Hayfever symptoms results from exposure to the light pollen grains on the tree. The trees with heavy sap tend to cause a contact dermatitis, or rash. If you develop itching or respiratory symptoms, it could be due to a pine allergy. A cough, itchy mouth or throat can develop. People with asthma may have a worsening of their asthma.

We wish you and all those dear to you a happy and safe holiday season.

Let’s start with Thanksgiving.

It is very possible to have an allergy to the turkey. It is not common, but some food handlers will develop urticaria, or hives, when they touch the raw turkey. Once sensitized, contact will produce an immediate reaction.
Pecans, and other tree nuts can cause allergic reactions. The pecan is a tree nut, and a mild allergy can make the throat feel like cotton. A severe allergy can cause anaphylaxis, or inability to breathe. Increased exposure to the raw nut protein causes a more severe reaction than the oils do.
Balsam of Peru is a secretion that results from a tree that has been injured. Balsams are found in citrus fruit peels (such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruit) in marmalades, juice and bakery goods. Balsam of Peru is known to give off an odor similar to cinnamon and vanilla. Balsam of Peru, or one of its components can be found in tomatoes, chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and other spices, in addition to colas, sodas, and other flavored beverages. The best way to avoid exposure to Balsam of Peru, if you are indeed allergic (and patch testing is how we diagnose this allergy) is to avoid the above listed foods. Also, when cleaning up, avoid certain cleaning products which contain the balsam or related chemicals. Learn to read the labels listing ingredients.

And then there is Christmas.

In addition to what was written for Thanksgiving, the Christmas tree can be a source of allergies. Pollen from the pine trees can cause allergic reactions when inhaled or touched. Hayfever symptoms results from exposure to the light pollen grains on the tree. The trees with heavy sap tend to cause a contact dermatitis, or rash. If you develop itching or respiratory symptoms, it could be due to a pine allergy. A cough, itchy mouth or throat can develop. People with asthma may have a worsening of their asthma.

We wish you and all those dear to you a happy and safe holiday season.