It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for seeing family, gift giving, and putting up the Christmas tree. However, sometimes the pine tree can cause holiday strife in terms of allergies. These symptoms might be brought on by the tree, but it is not necessarily cause by a pine pollen or pine nut allergy.

Pine Allergy

An actual pine allergy is uncommon and unlikely to be the root of your reactions to the Christmas tree. It is late in the season when we buy Christmas trees and the pollen is already mostly gone. It is possible to have a pine nut allergy, however reaction is caused by ingesting the pine nut. If pine nut and pine pollen allergies are unlikely causes, why are people having allergic reactions to their Christmas trees?

The Real Culprits

Those having reactions to their tree are likely to have an allergy to the tree’s sap or the mold that grows on the tree. In a 2011 study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, more than 50 kinds of mold were found on samples of Christmas trees. This can be a problem with artificial trees as well if they are stored in a damp place where mold could grow.

There are a few steps and tricks you can take to avoid getting the sniffles from your Christmas tree. A simple way to avoid rashes is to wear long sleeves and gloves when interacting with the tree. Change clothes once you are done. Cleaning off your tree, whether it is artificial or real, can also help. Hose down your real tree and let it dry before bringing it inside. Dusting off your artificial tree and your decorations can be a huge relief as well. Taking care of your decorations and keeping them in a moisture free environment will minimize the wheezing during the holiday season.

If you are struggling to minimize your allergy symptoms this holiday season, a Board-Certified Allergist can help. To schedule an appointment with an allergist at National Allergy & ENT, please call (843) 797-8162 or schedule online.