The dangers of kissing

It is already possible to exchange microbes by shaking hands. So exchanging kisses, more intimate act, necessarily exposes to higher risks of microbial contamination. But kisses do not transmit only infections. In contact with the lips of others, sensitive people can also be exposed to allergens that are dangerous for them. And not even french kiss: a simple kiss on the cheek can cause a disaster.

Many microbes, pathogenic or not, may be contained in the saliva, or carried by the skin of the lips. Without pretending to be exhaustive, kisses or bugs can carry a long list of infectious diseases. This goes nasopharyngitis TB, through the flu, tonsillitis, glandular fever, diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella, hepatitis A, meningitis, chickenpox, herpes, pertussis, scarlet fever, gastroenteritis, etc. All these possibilities of contagion should not discourage lovers. Given the number of kisses and kisses exchanged every day in the world, anyone can see that the risk of infection is shallow. It should not discourage people from continuing to kiss each other. And that’s good.

A Risk not Known

Another risk has appeared more recently. This is the allergic risk of kissing. Professor Guy Dutau, allergist and pediatrician in Toulouse, exhibits in the GP of May 6 this allergy syndrome induced kiss. This unusual mode of contagious allergy is poorly known, and its frequency underestimated. It will reach 1 to 10% of patients suspected of food allergy. This is not negligible, as the number of people with food allergies continues to grow.

Fortunately, the symptoms of kiss-induced allergy syndrome remain mild or moderate in 70% of cases. But they can sometimes be more serious. Swelling of the face and throat, asthma, acute respiratory distress or even allergic shock which can sometimes be life-threatening allergic.

The first case, reported in 1997, is that of a young woman allergic to pollens and with a food allergy to the apple. She develops edema of the lips and feels an itchy mouth after kissing her friend. He has just eaten an apple. In 2001, it was a peanut allergy that manifests after a kiss. Then the cases of five children, who have severe allergies after kisses from relatives.

Think before Kiss

We must, therefore, think of systematically looking for kiss-induced allergy syndrome in vulnerable people. First, allergic to pollen with food allergy to fruits and vegetables. Then, in people with a food allergy, who react strongly to tiny amounts of their allergen. Finally, in those who are allergic, but whose allergen is not clearly identified. In these cases, when questioning the allergic, ask if the symptoms do not appear a few minutes after a kiss. As for the one who gave the kiss, he was able to consume the allergen from a few minutes to more than two hours before kissing the victim.

All foods can be blamed: fruit (apple, kiwi, banana), nuts (peanut, almond, hazelnuts, etc.), fish or seafood, eggs, cow’s milk.

It’s not just deep kisses that can cause these accidents. Kisses on the lips, cheeks, neck, eyes can cause allergic accidents.

Patients with a food allergy should be warned of the risks involved. They must keep on hand their common allergic crisis treatment. Depending on the case and severity of crises, antihistamines, if necessary combined with corticosteroids to swallow. And for the most severe cases, injectable adrenaline.

Back to top button