Holiday

Are You Allergic to the Holidays?

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The holidays are full of wonderful items you love to display and enjoy year after year. But these items can also cause you to have severe allergies. Here are some holiday related allergy triggers you may not think about.

Christmas Trees

Most allergies from Christmas trees actually come from mold build up. Because the trees are cut in advance and kept in humid environments, mold has a chance to grow on them. Within two weeks of bringing your tree home, indoor mold can increase drastically. To help prevent mold buildup from causing you to sneeze, rinse your tree off before bringing it into your house. Sit the stump in a bucket of water and let the tree dry for a few days. Keep it on a covered porch or in the garage.

Tree Sap

Sap on your Christmas tree can also cause skin allergies. To prevent it, wear gloves and long sleeves when moving and handling the tree. If you rinse your tree off to prevent the mold problem, it will also help remove some of the sap. You could also give the tree a good shake, or blast it with a leaf blower.

Decorations

While your Christmas decorations are in storage, they collect a lot of dust and possibly mold. When you open the boxes to decorate for the holidays, you’re releasing the dust and mold into the air. Breathing it in can cause your allergies to flare up. To prevent this, wipe down each item thoroughly after removing it from the box. When repacking them, wrap them in air tight containers and keep them in a dry spot.

Synthetic Materials

Some people experience allergic contact dermatitis when their skin comes in contact with synthetic materials, such as wool, or the ingredients used in the fabrics, such as chemical additives and dyes. If you know you’re allergic to synthetic materials, be sure to let others know. If they buy you clothes or blankets for the holidays, they’ll know what to avoid.

Scented Objects

Many decorations are scented for the Christmas holidays. If you find yourself sneezing a lot, you could have a fragrance allergy. This type of allergy can have mild to severe health consequences, including, respiratory issues and skin reactions. If you notice sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes, headaches, trouble breathing, and itchy skin, pay attention to the scents around you. Contact an urgent care center if you experience severe allergic reactions.

Food

With all of the holiday baking and eating you do, it’s possible you’re exposing yourself to a food allergy. You could also eat something containing one of your food allergens without knowing it’s in the recipe. To avoid this, pay attention to recipes. If you must bake something that contains a food allergen, make it separate from everything else to avoid cross-contamination. Create a variety of allergy-free foods and keep them on a separate table.

If you notice any of these allergies around the holidays, pay attention to your surroundings. If you feel you might be allergic to something, clean it up or remove it from your home.

About the author

Jacob Anderson is a freelance journalist from Scottsdale, Arizona who writes for a variety of health and wellness blogs and periodicals.

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