By Marianne Mancusi Beach, GalTime.com
We all know kissing can leave you feeling tingly all over. But for some, it may be more than just the aftereffects of attraction. In fact, it could be a physical allergic reaction to your partner...or at least what he ate for dinner.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, food allergies can be triggered by kissing a partner who's eaten food or taken medication you're allergic to, even if they've brushed their teeth or waited hours before giving you a smooch.
"The immune system of highly-allergic persons may react vigorously to trace amounts of food or drug remaining on the lips or in the mouth, or excreted in the saliva after its absorption in the circulation," says Dr. Sami Bahna, President of ACAAI.
Symptoms can include swelling of the lips or throat, a rash, hives, itching and wheezing. Probably not exactly the post smooch bliss you were hoping for.
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So what can lovers do? Well, not too much. "Teeth brushing, mouth rinsing, and exquisitely sensitive persons may have to restrain from kissing for many hours to avoid the excreted allergen in the saliva," says Dr. Bahna.
Or you may consider drawing the line with your partner. You or the peanut butter?
And, by the way, it's not just kissing either. Some people experience allergic reactions to chemicals in spermicides, lubricants, latex or even a partner's semen. And still others may get hives or suffer from wheezing just from the natural chemicals their body releases during emotional excitement or physical exertion during sex.
Not very romantic, now is it?
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Dr. Bahna suggests people allergic to semen use condoms or even immunotherapy, prescribed by an allergist. Antihistamines may also help in mild cases.
"There may be more who are suffering from this than we know because people may be embarrassed to bring it up," said Dr. Bahna. "But allergists can help determine what's causing the allergy and find the right treatment. No one has to suffer."
So if you think you're allergic to kissing -- or sex -- don't break out in hives! Instead, head to your allergist for a solution that'll allow you to smooch safely. You can also visit www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
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