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Medicine and Journalism: kiss me quick? Hmm… sometimes rather not

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55.Kiss me quick? Hmm… sometimes rather not

(14 April 2017)

Kiss me quick – the famous Elvis Priestley song in 1962 was the number one hit for many weeks.

I remember this beautiful melody well, I just was starting my medical studies. We were dancing at the sound of this melody. Let me remind this timeless and beautiful melody and words

Kiss me quick, while we still have this feeling
Hold me close and never let me go
Cause tomorrows can be so uncertain
Love can fly and leave just hurting
Kiss me quick because I love you so

Especially in the spring, it is a suitable melody when love afflicts many people.

Is the phrase kiss me quick safe? Not for everyone, it is good advice.

A few years ago love touched one of my patients so he arranged a date with a girl. It was a  very nice date, so he arranged the next one. Everyone knows that without a kiss it’s no date, so he kissed the girl, the more and more… after a few minutes he felt burning, itching his lips when joined the swelling of the lips,  feeling of pressure in the throat and breathing problems, he decided that the time to end unlucky wounds. Symptoms were getting worse so the unlucky couple went to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. The doctor recognized Quincke’s edema, and the most likely allergen was the lipstick of his girlfriend.

Not only my patient has such bad luck on a date. During the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology congress in 2010 Dr. Sami  Bahna, President of  ACAAI describes a 30-year old male patient who is allergic peanuts. The patient, also a doctor himself, would kiss his girlfriend and shortly he had a mouth itch and swelling of the lips. Two hours before date the girl ate peanuts,  she had brushed her teeth carefully, rinsed out her mouth many times, and chewed gum before giving him a kiss, but these hygienic practices did not remove allergens from her saliva.

Dr. Sami Bahna, MD, said:

„If you have food allergies, having an allergic reaction immediately after kissing someone who has eaten the food or taken oral medication that you are allergic to isn’t highly unusual. But some patients react after their partner has brushed his or her teeth or several hours after eating. It turns out that their partners' saliva is excreting the allergen hours after the food or medicine has been absorbed by their body.
Kissing allergies are most commonly found in people who have food or medication allergies. Symptoms include swelling of the lips or throat, rash, hives, itching, and wheezing. Food allergies affect about 2 to 3 percent of adults and 5 to 7% of children in the U.S. population.

If the urge to kiss is there, what can the couple do about it?  Dr. Bahna advises the partner without an allergy to brush their teeth, rinse their mouths out thoroughly, and to avoid placing anything in their mouths the other person is allergic to for 16 to 24 hours – then they can probably enjoy a kiss. However, sometimes even these measures are not enough.

Food allergies affect about 2 to 3 percent of adults and 5 to 7% of children.