Perfume Allergy: Myth or Reality?

Digg.com brought to my attention an article about a High School Ban on Axe Body Sprays due to a student being hospitalized over an “extreme allergy.”    The news story tells us how the Freedom High School (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)  principal is asking students not to wear Axe Body Spray due to a pupil being hospitalized after coming into contact with the product.   The article contains a quotation from Dr. Linda Graziano, of South Jersey Allergy & Asthma Associates who states that respiratory problems, including asthma, could be triggered by a product in the air or even on the skin.

I found this article interesting because it reminded me of the numerous occasions where I heard people speak about perfume allergies.   Generally, the person claiming perfume allergies will tell you about someone who wore so much perfume that it gave them nausea and a headache.  However, this is a case of confusing dislike with disease.  While it is hard to dispute that certain ingredients used in the manufacture of perfumes are linked to allergic contact dermatitis, there is little evidence to suggest that perfume molecules can cause allergic asthma the way pollen and spores do.

The above article does not tell us how the pupil came into contact with the perfume, or the nature of the allergic reaction.   While it is possible that he experienced an allergic reaction after borrowing an Axe Body Spray from one of his class mates, it is unlikely that this reaction was a response to another school mate wearing the product.

 

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