A rose by any other name could still prompt symptoms of allergy in those who are hypersensitive to the plant. Allergies are episodes of mistaken immunological identity. The body's internal defense system identifies a harmful substance as a threat, and mounts an attack against it. In cases of rose allergy, the perceived villain is the rose. For those who suffer from rose allergies, exposure to this botanical beauty can bring out beastly symptoms.
The Library of the National Medical Society describes the sneezing and congestion of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis as a common occurrence during pollen season. Those who are sensitive to rose pollen may experience these symptoms, as well as red eyes and runny nose.
These symptoms are a result of a flood of chemicals, called histamine, prostaglandins and leukotrienes that are released by the immune system in response to allergen exposure
Over a one-third of those who experience nasal allergies have asthma, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Treating the symptoms of allergies, may help patients avoid severe asthmatic reactions. UMMC notes that only those who have extensive experience handling roses will typically become hypersensitized to them and develop these allergies. The heavier structure of rose pollen grains makes them less likely to be carried on the wind to affect more people.
"The Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology" and the journal "Allergy" published reports in 2001 and 2002 respectively, focusing on rose allergies as an occupational and environmental disease experienced by professional rose cultivators in Turkey.
The rose extract used in fragrances can cause allergic skin reactions. Allergic contact dermatitis is an immunological response to direct skin contact with an allergen. DermNet NZ advises that two types of fragrances derived from roses are frequently the source of allergic reactions: Eugenol, a pungent spicy odor is found in roses, as well as cloves and other flowers. It is a fragrance additive in perfume, cosmetics, dental and hygiene products. Geraniol is a sweetly scented fragrance most often associated with roses and widely used in perfumes cosmetics. A contact dermatitis reaction to rose fragrance may cause red, itchy raised patches that can appear anywhere from 1 hour to 2 days after the skin comes in contact with the allergen.
Is This an Emergency?
- DermNet NZ: Fragrance Mix Allergy
- Library of the National Medical Society: New Treatments for Allergic Rhinitis and Conjunctivitis
- "Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology"; Allergic Rhinitis in Rosa Domescena Cultivators; M. Unlu et al: December 2001
- "Allergy"; Allergy Symptoms and IgE Immune Response to Rose: An Occupational and an Environmental Disease; AU Demir; October 2002