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10 Allergy myths busted

We’ve all heard plenty of old wives’ tales about our allergies. What’s true and what isn’t? We’ve busted these myths just for you.

Woman sneezing |

Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/360/Getty Images

Tired of everyone sticking their noses into your allergy issues? The only way to stop it is to debunk the advice and theories they throw at you.


Myth: People with egg allergies shouldn’t get flu shots

Dr. David Stukus, a pediatric allergist in Columbus, Ohio, cited research that had been done during the swine flu scare to disprove this myth for “Since then, there’s been at least 25 well-conducted clinical trials that have shown the vaccines do not contain a significant amount of egg protein, and that they are very safe to give to people with egg allergy.”


Myth: Pet fur triggers

The Mayo Clinic actually defines pet allergies as “… an allergic reaction to proteins found in an animal’s skin cells, saliva or urine.” So, it’s not the fur making you sneeze.


Myth: Some dogs are hypoallergenic

Some dogs might, in fact, cause less itchy noses. However, this myth is based on whether a dog has “hair” instead of “fur” and how much they shed. According to American College of Asthma, Asthma and Immunology, fur isn’t the trigger.


Myth: Wearing jeans and long-sleeved shirts will keep you from getting poison ivy

Mother Nature Network found that the oil from poison ivy can live on other surfaces for ages. Meaning, if your jeans brush through that poison ivy, its itch-causing oil will get on your clothes and stay there. They suggest tossing clothes exposed to the plant if you’re allergic to poison ivy’s oils. If you don’t, it’s all over once you touch that spot. Not sure if you’re allergic to poison ivy? About 85 percent of Americans are, so the odds aren’t in your favor.


Myth: Childhood food allergies go away

Some kids with allergies or sensitivities might eventually grow up to become more tolerant of eggs or dairy. Other times, as a child grows, their allergic reactions simply change and aren’t necessarily visible. is quick to point out that many allergies don’t lessen at all.


Myth: Scrub allergens and toxins away

Science suggests that exposing yourself to limited amounts of dirt and germs will actually help build your immune system and make you less susceptible to toxins. A house with no toxins will actually make the ones outside come on stronger.


Myth: Allergies only develop when you’re young

Your body changes as you grow, and so can your response to toxins. As Dr. Richard Honsinger of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine told Woman’s Day, “It’s very common for people to get them later in life… Plus, some young people’s allergies go away but then they crop up again later.”


Myth: Honey cures

As Discovery Health points out, honey comes from bees and pollen, one of the biggest factors in seasonal allergies. We’re not telling you to not eat honey, but we do suggest trying an actual allergy medicine.


Myth: Take medication after symptoms start

Antihistamines are made to block histamines. If you’re showing symptoms, you’ve already been exposed and your best bet is to go the way of decongestants or try some antihistamine eye drops to help relieve allergy eye itch.


Myth: Moving to the desert will fix everything

We wish! This is only true if you’re only allergic to ragweed. The desert comes with its own set of allergens, though, like cottonwood and sagebrush.

Lesson learned from all of this: Allergies of any variety are tricky to deal with. The best advice will come from an allergy specialist.

More tips for dealing with allergies

Expert tips to manage allergies at home
Natural ways to manage spring allergies
4 Tips for vacationing with allergies

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