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As Valentine's Day draws near, love is in the air once more, encouraging couples to engage in gift-giving and special surprises.

Although the holiday serves as a reminder to cherish one another and express love to those we care about through gifts and actions both large and small, we need to remind ourselves to spread love rather than allergy-inducing triggers.

In an article published by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), people are reminded that the goal on this special day is to always make your loved ones feel important, appreciated, and safe even from allergens and irritants. 

"Some traditional Valentine’s gifts can cause an allergic response, which can halt any romantic moment fast,” the report reads. “Hives, coughing, sneezing and difficulty breathing are a few reactions that can occur if you don’t think ahead about your loved one’s needs.”

Since most of the romantic gifts commonly associated with Valentine's Day carry a multitude of possible harmful allergens, we listed 5 factors, along with safer alternatives, that you need to consider to prevent turning your dinner plans into an emergency visit to the hospital.

1. FOOD

Every couple wants to have a romantic dinner for Valentine's Day, so if you and your partner have plans to dine out, make sure there are safe options that the kitchen can prepare. If you're doubling the sweetness with sweet gifts like chocolates, always check the labels.

Some products may contain traces of ingredients that may trigger flare-ups. Carefully read all the packaging of the treats you're going to buy. The most common food allergens are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy and sesame.

ALTERNATIVE: For dinner plans outside, call ahead to the restaurant to make sure food allergies can be accommodated by the kitchen. Better yet, enjoy the day by cooking at home with your beloved. 

2. PERFUMES

Ever heard of perfume allergy? Well, they're real, and you might want to avoid giving them to your sweetheart this Valentine's Day. 

Strong fragrances, such as colognes, body perfumes, and other scented products, can be irritants that can cause headaches, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and allergic contact dermatitis. 

Aside from perfumes, women who want to look their best for that anticipated date should watch out for hidden contact allergens to various beauty products. In some cases, facial colognes, lip balms, and even lipstick may contain allergens. 

ALTERNATIVE: Always look for fragrance-free products, from soaps and lotions to perfumes and other self-care products.

3. FLOWERS

Beautiful flower bouquets are a classic way to convey your affection because of their many hues and silky petals. However, if you give them to your significant other without considering their sensitivities, it can come across poorly, especially if they sneeze or get a rash.

According to ACAAI, some people experience nasal symptoms with scented flowers like lilies. "There are flowers that are especially high-risk for people with skin allergies, so try to avoid daisies, goldenrod, sunflowers and chamomile," it said.

ALTERNATIVE: Choose a bouquet of allergy-friendly flowers to be safe, like tulips, roses, daffodils, and others. Some flowers, on the other hand, can trigger allergic rhinitis since they contain pollen grains, causing nasal congestion, watery eyes, and itchy throat. Always ask the florist for safe flower combinations. Better yet, treat your loved one to a movie, show, or concert instead.

4. JEWELRY 

Rings, necklaces, and earrings. With their bright, mesmerizing looks, no wonder jewelry remains a jaw-dropping gift for a loved one. However, even the shiniest pieces may go unused if the metal bothers their sensitive skin. 

When pieces of jewelry containing nickel and metal make direct and prolonged contact with the skin, your partner may experience dry and itchy skin, blisters, and rashes in the affected area. ACAII reminds the public that 14K and 18K gold include nickel, which can irritate the skin if the gold becomes damp, as do chrome-plated things.

ALTERNATIVE: Since nickel is most commonly found in necklaces, rings, and earrings, you may opt for hypoallergenic jewelry made from sterling silver, stainless steel, copper, platinum, or polycarbonate plastic. Or you might consider giving beaded jewelry like pearls and glass beads, which are unlikely to trigger allergies. 

5. CLOTHING

Just like with other romantic material gifts, choosing clothes to surprise your loved ones needs consideration on their skin sensitivities. If they deal with eczema, psoriasis, or other skin conditions, take synthetic-blended clothes out of your list. 

To prevent them from developing symptoms like rash, blisters, itching, and burning, stay away from purchasing clothing items that may irritate their skin. Instead, look for a more hypoallergenic option.

ALTERNATIVE: Our allergy-free organic cotton collection, ranging from hypoallergenic tops and bottoms to masks and other accessories, would help you live allergy-free days all year round. Visit our collection here to know about our hypoallergenic offers. After all, the most beneficial actions are the ones that are the simplest, like paying attention to the clothing you wear next to your skin.

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. 

Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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