Food Allergy? Be Careful Whom You Kiss on Valentine's Day

It's always a good idea be careful whom you kiss. But if you have a food allergy, you'd better be extra careful because food allergies could be passed through kissing.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, it is possible that if you have an allergy to a certain food and you kiss someone who has eaten that food, you could suffer an allergic reaction.

In a report released by the ACAAI, a man with a peanut allergy developed a swollen lip and itching in his mouth after his girlfriend kissed him. She had eaten peanuts two hours earlier. However, she brushed her teeth, rinsed her mouth and even chewed gum before seeing him. Yet she was still able to pass it to him.

"Food allergies affect about 2 to 3 percent of adults and 5 to 7 percent of children," said Dr. Douglas Jones, an allergy specialist at Rocky Mountain Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Layton. "This number is growing rapidly. People can be extremely sensitive to even small amounts of food particles from any exposure, even from kissing.

"It turns out that their partners' saliva is excreting the allergen hours after the food or medicine has been absorbed by their body," Jones said.

So what can you do to make sure your Valentine's Day kiss does not land you in the emergency room?

-- Ask your intended mate to avoid the offending food 16 to 24 hours before the kiss
-- Always brush your teeth and rinse with mouth wash before you kiss
-- Carry allergy medicine with you at all times.

Symptoms of food allergies include rash, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, itchy throat or mouth and in severe cases anaphylactic shock.

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