Here’s an unfortunate allergy! While sex can be good for you (in many ways), it turns out that even brushing your teeth or waiting hours after eating may not prevent some partners of people with food and medicine allergies from triggering an allergic reaction through a kiss. "Kissing" allergies are most commonly found in people who have food or medication allergies. Symptoms include swelling of the lips or throat, rash, hives, itching and wheezing. Food allergies affect about 2 to 3% of adults and 5 to 7% of children in the US, or more than 7 million people (This number is so high that it’s a wonder, given the "kissing" problem, that we even HAVE such a large population!) Allergist Sami Bahna says, "If you have food allergies, having an allergic reaction immediately after kissing someone who has eaten the food or taken oral medication that you are allergic to isn’t highly unusual. But some patients react after their partner has brushed his or her teeth or several hours after eating.

It turns out that their partners’ saliva is excreting the allergen hours after the food or medicine has been absorbed by their body." So what can potential lovers do (other than blow out the candles, cork up the wine, and go home?) Allergists recommend that the non-allergic partner brush his or her teeth, rinse his or her mouth and avoid the offending food for 16 to 24 hours before smooching with a person who is highly allergic to that food. But even these steps may not help in some cases.

Since most people have sex in bed, allergic people have yet another reason to fear bed bugs, since they can sometimes set off allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Most people who are bitten by bed bugs just get red bite marks that are mildly itchy, but people who are allergic to them can experience intense itching, swelling, redness, hives and blisters. People who are allergic to bed bug bites notice their bites become increasingly itchy, and scratching them can lead to infection. The bugs can even trigger asthma if a large group of them become airborne. At least all this gives you an easy way to break up with someone–Just tell them you’re allergic to them. We’ve done it again: given you news that you just can’t get anywhere else!

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