For most kids, Halloween equals costumes and candy. But for those with allergies, both can become a huge hazard. With so much candy around, generally allergy and Halloween information revolves around the fear of accidental exposure to food allergens, but costumes can become an allergic issue, too. Here are five things to keep in mind when buying a costume to avoid spooky allergic reactions this Halloween!
1. Accessories made of nickel
Nickel is an allergen that sneaks into many costumes, whether it’s a zipper, button, earrings, belts, or a fake sword to go with a pirate costume. It causes reactions for some, called contact dermatitis. Like when someone is in contact with poison ivy, nickel can cause a similar onset of hives. Make sure a layer of clothing is between you and the nickel, or ditch the nickel accessories for a different material.
2. Halloween makeup
Makeup, in general, can cause issues for people with allergies. Indistinct labeling and lack of regulations can make it a danger zone! Halloween makeup, like white face paint and fake blood, is often made with lower quality ingredients. Be sure to read labels carefully. Test the products on a small area of the skin before applying to the face. Buy higher quality items if available.
3. Latex masks
Latex appears in many different elements of Halloween costumes. Masks are notorious for containing latex and can cause scary reactions for those with latex allergy. Some costumes have become almost entirely made out of latex, but accessories like fairy wands, Hulk hands, and Mickey Mouse ears could contain latex, too. For those with severe allergy, avoiding latex products, as well as avoiding others who are wearing latex costumes, could be important, too. More options are now available for latex-free masks, so again, read the labels.
4. Hidden dust mites
While shoving discount costumes to the back of your closet last winter seemed like a good idea, it’s a perfect place to collect creepy, crawly dust mites. Before the big night of trick or treating, be sure to wash the costume in hot water to kill off any mites that might have collected. Remember, like ghosts and goblins, just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there.
5. Irritating fabrics
For kids with eczema, or atopic dermatitis, a scratchy or irritating fabric can cause a flare up in symptoms. Since a lot of costumes are made with lower quality fabric, itching and scratching is almost inevitable. Look for costumes made from cotton instead of synthetic material. It may take some creativity, but that’s what Halloween is all about!
What should I do?
As you get ready to dress up for Halloween, keep these 5 tips in mind. Halloween doesn’t have to haunt you any more than it already does. Be prepared, read labels, and continue your treatment to ensure your trick-or-treating is more treats than tricks!
As you look ahead to future Halloweens, remember that allergy treatment is available to make this holiday a little less scary. Sublingual immunotherapy is a convenient allergy treatment that can be taken from anywhere, any time. It makes traveling for holidays and continuing your allergy treatment a breeze!
By Taylor Pasell, Allergychoices