Can Perfume Cause Allergic Reaction? Symptoms And Treatment

Perfumes are essentially used to give human body a pleasant scent. Scents often trigger emotions and elevate our mood. For some people the fragrance of perfume becomes a signature mark. Perfumes were used since ancient days and one of the purposes of using fragrance material in those eras was to please gods.

Nowadays besides natural elements and aroma compounds, many synthetic products are also used in perfumes.

Unfortunately for some people the ingredient used in perfumes regardless of being natural or synthetic in origin can cause allergic manifestation. There are host of unpleasant symptoms such as asthma, dermatitis, allergic rhinitis etc as a result of perfume allergy. These persons can also be allergic to other scented products including room freshener, cosmetics and toiletries. If you are allergic to perfumes and scents, the best preventive measure is to avoid the fragrances completely.

What Causes Allergic Reaction To Perfume?

Normally human beings are able to tolerate innumerable substances that they are exposed to in their daily life.

These substances and elements do not cause any untoward disturbance in the body. But for some people the situation is not so. Their body reacts to certain substances and molecules which for other normal human being are harmless. These elements or substances for them become allergen. That means their immune system is hypersensitive to such harmless substance and it reacts to it by triggering release of antibodies.

In an allergy, the body becomes hypersensitive to certain substance. The antibody reacts to produce histamine which can cause inflammatory changes in the system. In a perfume the chemicals and solvents that are used for fragrance and scent become allergen to those who have perfume allergy.

Perfume allergy can develop anytime. Even if a person is exposed to perfume previously and he did not have reaction, his body can produce symptoms of allergy later on when he comes in contact with it.

Symptoms Of Perfume Allergy

Perfume allergy can affect the respiratory system and skin in majority of cases. The primary symptoms of perfume allergy develop soon or sometime later after exposure to perfume and fragrances. Patient with perfume allergy may present with:

  • Irritation, itching and rashes on skin after the chemical molecules present in perfume come in contact with skin.
  • Patient may complain of sneezing, running nose, and cough after he is exposed to fragrance of perfume.
  • He may also experience difficulty in breathing.
  • Some patients suffering from asthma may have asthma attack soon after they are exposed to fragrance.
  • Burning and watering of eyes.
  • Swelling of lips and hoarseness of voice.
  • Dark discoloration of skin. This may develop after a period of time when constant irritation and itching tends the patient to scratch. This discoloration is more in armpits where a person often sprays deodorant.

How To Get Rid Of Perfume Allergy?

If you have perfume allergy, the best way to deal with it is to avoid exposure to fragrance and perfume. However, there are some remedies that may help to curb the symptoms.

In case of severe itching and burning sensation on the skin, apply aloe vera gel. It has to be fresh gel derived from the plant. Aloe vera has soothing effect on the irritation produced by the chemicals present in perfume on the skin. If the symptoms worsen, anti histamine medicines are useful to relieve the symptoms.

Mild allergic symptoms may fade away on their own. If there is severe running and itching in the nose, put few drops of anti histamine nasal drops. Some patient may need corticosteroid nasal drops to reduce inflammation caused by allergy.

For more severe cases such as asthma, besides anti histamines he may also require bronchodilators to reduce spasm of the air passage.