Ask The Doctor

Is it possible to develop an allergy to fragrance?

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My mother-in-law wears a signature perfume that often results in me having a sneezing fit. Her’s is the only fragrance that triggers this kind of reaction and I’m concerned because I’m not certain what it is that I’m allergic to exactly. What test can be conducted for me to pin-point the exact ingredient? And, is it possible to develop an allergy to fragrance?

1 Answer

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Not exactly, while the sneezing, itchy eyes and/or other symptoms are similar to allergies most of the time patients are reacting to the synthetic chemicals in the perfume. These synthetic chemicals are called irritants. These irritants (which also include smoke, odors, fumes and other chemicals) irritate the inner surface of the nose, eyes, throat, or lung.

There are exceptions. There are a few chemicals involved with plastics and paints that may cause allergic sensitivity.

The best advice is to (nicely!) ask you mother in law to stop wearing the perfume or to avoid her, whichever is easier.

If you are unsure and think it might still be allergies, please come by our office for a complete evaluation.

Your Answer

1 Answer

0

Not exactly, while the sneezing, itchy eyes and/or other symptoms are similar to allergies most of the time patients are reacting to the synthetic chemicals in the perfume. These synthetic chemicals are called irritants. These irritants (which also include smoke, odors, fumes and other chemicals) irritate the inner surface of the nose, eyes, throat, or lung.

There are exceptions. There are a few chemicals involved with plastics and paints that may cause allergic sensitivity.

The best advice is to (nicely!) ask you mother in law to stop wearing the perfume or to avoid her, whichever is easier.

If you are unsure and think it might still be allergies, please come by our office for a complete evaluation.