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Tips And Treats for an Allergy-Friendly Valentine’s Day

January 19, 2023
by Maxcie Sikora, MD

creating an asthma and allergy-friendly celebration

A box of heart shaped chocolates. A bouquet of fragrant flowers. A beautiful piece of jewelry. All gifts that are incredibly popular on Valentine’s Day. And all gifts that have the potential to trigger those suffering from allergies and asthma.

More than half of U.S. consumers celebrated Valentine’s Day last year. And with more than 50 million people suffering from allergies in the United States, there is significant potential for a romantic gesture to end in allergic reaction.

True love means never making your sweetheart sneeze and wheeze. And there’s no better way to show your special someone how much you care than by creating an asthma and allergy-friendly celebration that everyone can enjoy.

Common Allergy and Asthma Triggers on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has been steadily growing over the last 15 years. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $23.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2022, with candy, flowers and jewelry reported as some of the most popular gift items.

But as noted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, these popular gift items also include some of the most popular allergen and asthma triggers. Here are three common allergens to avoid on Valentine’s Day:

  • Allergens in meals and foodFood allergens like shellfish and oysters at dinner, as well as peanuts and nuts that are common in chocolate and dessert. 
  • Skin allergies – Nickel is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, more than 18 percent of people in North America are allergic to nickel, including 11 million children. Other common causes of skin reactions on Valentine’s Day include personal care items such as moisturizers, massage lotions, and cosmetics.
  • Inhalation allergens Pollens in cut flowers and mold in potted plants can trigger allergic reactions. Also be aware of non-washed stuffed animals, perfume or colognes, and scented candles.
When considering going out to eat, consider food allergens like shellfish and oysters, as well as peanuts and nuts that are common in chocolate and dessert. 

How Can I Safely Celebrate Valentine’s Day? 

Making sure your Valentine’s Day celebration is free from any potential allergy or asthma triggers may seem daunting, but it’s easily doable. Here are two tips to keep you and your sweetheart safe while showcasing your love:

  • Plan in advance – especially if you’re planning to go out for the holiday. Check the menu of restaurants for allergy-free options, order allergy-free candy, or work with a florist to create a hypoallergenic bouquet (yes, that does include roses!)
  • Play it safe – you can’t go wrong with a homemade meal made with love. Staying home adds an extra layer of security since you are in control of the ingredients. Just make sure to read the labels and remove anything that could trigger a reaction.

Allergy and Asthma Safe Valentine’s Gift Ideas

They say it’s the thought that counts when giving a gift. And there may be nothing more thoughtful than taking your loved ones allergy into consideration when planning Valentine’s Day. Here are some suggestions for safe Valentine’s Day Gifts:

  • Handmade card
  • Books
  • Framed photo
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Movie night

Above all, Valentine’s Day is about showing people in your life how much you value them. That’s why taking the extra time to plan a day without potential allergy or asthma pitfalls is the ultimate display of how much you care.


Maxcie Sikora, MD
Medically Reviewed By: Maxcie Sikora, MD
Reviewed on: Dec. 19, 2022

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We regularly check to see if the info in this article matches up with the latest scientific research and expert advice so that we can give you the most up-to-date information. See list of trusted resources here.

Get Your Allergies Under Control

Allergies can be difficult to navigate, especially around holiday like this. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many AllerVie Health locations across the country, can help you diagnose and manage your food allergies and help ensure that you are staying healthy and safe.

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