How To Deal With Perfume Allergies

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Many people do not feel ready to leave the house unless they have applied perfume or aftershave, sometimes in large quantities. While these scents make them feel fresh and attractive, they may be causing some people to have a physical reaction, particularly if they are in close quarters with someone who is sensitive to these substances. If you are one of those people who are sensitive to perfume or other similar products, you can take steps to reduce your exposure.


Research shows that up to 30% of the population reports having a bad reaction to a fragrance. Although this sensitivity isn't a true allergy, it can cause allergy-like symptoms such as sneezing and watery eyes. Some people develop headaches, develop a rash, or begin to wheeze when exposed.  If you have a respiratory condition such as asthma, exposure to fragrances can exacerbate your problems. These symptoms can be debilitating, so fragrance sensitivity is a real problem.


Although countries such as Canada have taken some steps to minimize this problem, the United States has not done much on this front. Some people feel that they have the right to wear as much perfume or other fragrance as they wish. If you are stuck working with someone whose fragrance causes you problems, you can take several steps. First, consider addressing the person directly and explain your problem. Many people will be sympathetic and consider going fragrance-free or at least minimizing their use of these products. If this approach does not work, you can discuss the issue with human resources. Some businesses may consider having a fragrance-free environment. If not, you can be moved to a different area of the office.

Fragrance-Free Products

If you are sensitive, you should invest in all fragrance-free products and encourage your family to use them as well. If a member of your family cannot live without their favorite scent, have them apply it outside of the home and wash it off when they return. If you enter an elevator with a person wearing a strong fragrance, get off as soon as possible. Avoiding an all-day headache is worth a little inconvenience.

Although some people scoff at the notion, strong perfumes and other fragrances can make you ill. Your work productivity is adversely affected as well as your enjoyment of life. Limit your exposure as much as you can and ban these items from your home. If symptoms persist, discuss this situation with your doctor. You can't eliminate the issue, but you can lessen its impact. Contact a clinic like Southern Allergy and Asthma PC  for more info.