If you or someone in your family feels a little under the weather at Christmastime, the culprit may be right under your nose, literally.

We all love the smells associated with this time of year. Fresh-baked cookies, a crackling fire, and the smell of a beautiful pine tree all warm the senses and can bring back a flood of happy childhood memories. But it's that last one - that freshly cut pine tree - that could be stimulating more than just your brain's pleasure center.

Are you allergic to your Christmas tree?

What is Christmas Tree Syndrome?

If you notice that you or someone in your family suffers more allergy symptoms this time of year, you may be experiencing what is sometimes called 'Christmas Tree Syndrome' or 'Christmas Tree Dermatitis.'

While pine pollen is a common year-round allergen, it may not be the main irritant, according to an expert with Ohio State University.

A 2011 study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology revealed that more than 50 kinds of mold were found on Christmas tree samples. Dust on branches was also a contributing factor.

Artificial Christmas Trees Can Stir Up Allergies Too

If you think an artificial Christmas tree is immune, there is evidence that suggests otherwise.

A fake tree may be triggering allergy outbreaks as well because oftentimes those trees are stored in damp, dusty basements or in a humid garage or attic - ideal environments for mold to grow.

This article suggests using a leaf blower to remove as much dust as possible from artificial trees as well as washing or wiping off ornaments each year before decorating.


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