Christmas Tree Allergy
We’ve been warning AllergyBestBuys customers to the allergy problems posed by indoor Christmas trees for years. Now scientists confirm that the traditional fir or spruce, left in a warm room, releases mould spores that can trigger watery eyes, coughing, chest pains and lethargy. Dr Lawrence Kurlandsky, formerly of Upstate Medical University in New York, who led a recent study into Christmas Tree Syndrome, said he has seen some “pretty clearcut” cases.
Our advice is to spray your tree with HomeCleanse or instal an Airfree or Cleanaer air purifier to clear the air of any mould spores.
The popular indoor plant Poinsettia may seem an unlikely Christmas hazard but its milky sap can set off a severe skin reaction amongst those allergic to latex. The allergen that both latex and Poinsettias share is actually two proteins that have also been linked to banana, kiwi fruit and chestnuts.
Avoid skin contact with the plant by applying a drop of Gloves in a Bottle shielding lotion to the hands every four hours.
Watch that Christmas Cake!
- If you’re coeliac or allergic to wheat beware of those little silver balls used as cake decorations as most of them contain wheat starch.
- Christmas Cake uses masses of dried fruits which usually contain sulphates to preserve them. These are well known for triggering asthma.
- Watch out for nut trace warnings on some ready-roll icings and remember Royal icing contains egg white.
- Marzipan, made with egg yolk and ground almonds is an obvious no-no for anyone allergic to these ingredients. You can make an acceptable alternative by substituting fresh white breadcrumbs for the almonds, mixed with the grated rind of a lemon or orange. Or click through to the Allergy Information & Advice page at www.allergybestbuys.co.uk for a Nut-free Marzipan recipe that uses egg white rather than yolk.
Candles and perfumes
Scented candles are a delight but not if you’re sensitive to fragrances or paraffin wax which can release harmful toxins. Look instead for soy, natural vegetable or beeswax candles with essential oils.
And if the perfume worn by your fellow party-goers affects you, try wearing a mini air purifier round your neck. The Air Supply gives discreet protection from anything you’d rather not breathe in and sends a gentle breeze of pure air into your breathing zone.
You can find out more about any of the products mentioned in this blog at my website www.allergybestbuys.co.uk
Merry Christmas everybody!