Greeting an Allergic Reactor

The word ‘piacere’ in Italian means “nice to meet you.” Both here in Italy, as well as at home in the U.S., handshakes are a common way to greet someone or say goodbye. In Italy, kisses on each cheek are more commonly used in greetings (as well as in many other parts of Europe).  Greeting an Allergic Reactor however should be treated with some consideration.

For allergic reactors, greeting people can sometimes to be challenging. There have been numerous times where I have nervously given out my hand to shake, while hoping to not break out into hives. It is hard to awkwardly explain my allergies to someone I am just meeting or don’t know well. I don’t want to hesitate and be misunderstood.  It is often a fine line between being polite and keeping myself safe!

If I have witnessed someone eating the allergen, I usually just tell them. I am not going to shake their hand whether it was nice to meet them or not! I don’t want to take that kind of risk. Most of the time, there really is no way of knowing. I carry wipes with me at all times but that is really all I can do.

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