Dealing with Perfume Allergies

by April Reinhardt
(last updated June 12, 2020)

We have become a scent-oriented society. We wash our hair and bodies with perfumed soaps and shampoos, use perfumed talc afterwards, and then use deodorant because we don't want to smell. We wash our clothes in scented detergent and dry them with scented dryer sheets because we don't want to smell. And after we've showered and dressed, we douse ourselves with a hefty dose of perfume or cologne because we don't want to smell.

We smell of the perfumes in the products we wear. More and more people are having a difficult time dealing with perfume-wearing people who surround them each day at work, school, at church, in restaurants, libraries, courtrooms, doctor's offices, hospitals – anywhere and everywhere.

Perfumes don't just come in a spray bottle. Think for a moment of some of the household products you that you buy, and you will realize that most all of them are perfumed. Items such as:

  • Soap and deodorant.
  • Hairspray and hair products such as mousse, gel, shampoo, and conditioner.
  • Hand and body lotion.
  • Makeup.
  • Toilet tissue.
  • Dishwashing detergent and dishwashing liquid.
  • Laundry detergent, dryer sheets, spray starch, and liquid fabric softener.
  • Furniture polish, floor cleaners, and air fresheners.

While you sometimes can't avoid the hefty dose of perfume worn by a coworker, there are things you can do to protect yourself. At work, you can complain to the coworker or to the boss that you have a perfume allergy and that smelling heavy perfume makes breathing difficult or, worse, sends you into an asthma attack. At home, you can use unscented products. Fortunately, there are many unscented products on the market today. When you're in public, you can anticipate being surrounded by those wearing perfumes, and arm yourself with certain medications to take in case you have an asthma attack or an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of a perfume allergy are watering and itching eyes, wheezing, runny nose, coughing, and shortness of breath. If you think that you are having an allergic reaction to perfume, get out and away from the perfume as soon as possible. Go outside and breathe fresh air. If you do not feel better, take an over-the-counter medicine or a prescription for allergies. If you still can't relief, go to an emergency room or urgent care and seek professional help.

While dealing with perfume allergies can be frustrating, finding a remedy for your allergic reaction that is fast and reliable can make a difference in your quality of life.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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