My Girlfriend Has a Peanut Allergy. Do We Have to Worry About Kissing?

My Girlfriend Has a Peanut Allergy. Do We Have to Worry About Kissing?

My girlfriend has a peanut allergy. I've heard stories about how people can die after being kissed by someone who just ate nuts. Do I have to worry about kissing her?
- Kevin*

Relax — the stories you've heard do happen, but they are rare. If you take some simple precautions, you and your girlfriend can kiss with no problems.

Studies show that food allergens are most prevalent in a person's saliva immediately after eating. But the presence of allergens gradually decreases over time, and after a few hours they are all but gone. Experts advise brushing your teeth and waiting at least 4 hours before kissing someone if you think you ate a food that person may be allergic to.

If it's noon and you won't see your girlfriend until later that evening, it's OK to have a PB&J for lunch. Just be sure to brush your teeth and use lots of toothpaste before you see her (just as anyone wanting kiss-worthy breath would do).

If you and your girlfriend are going out for a meal together, choose what you eat carefully. Ask her for advice on what you can order that doesn't have nut ingredients — or order the same thing she does — and you can kiss her goodnight with no problem.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: February 2012
Originally reviewed by: Hemant P. Sharma, MD

* Names have been changed to protect user privacy.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
Web SiteFood Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network for Teens A website for teens who want to take a more active role in managing their food allergies.
Web SiteThe Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) The FAAN mession is to raise public awareness, provide advocacy and education and to advance research on behavior for all of those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.
Related Articles
My Friend Has a Food Allergy. How Can I Help? Although food allergies are more common than ever, people who have them may feel different or embarrassed. A good friend can really help.
Nut and Peanut Allergy Peanuts are one of the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn't imagine. Learn the facts on living with a nut or peanut allergy.
Food Allergies and Travel Taking precautions and carrying meds are just part of normal life for someone who has a food allergy. Here are some tips on how to make travel feel perfectly routine also.
Food Allergies Doctors are diagnosing more and more people with food allergies. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with food allergies can make a big difference in preventing serious illness.
What's a Good Snack for Someone Allergic to Nuts? Find out what the experts have to say.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter