'Gutted': Woman's horror allergy to Christmas classic

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·Features and Health Editor
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A woman has revealed the horror allergic reaction she had to a Christmas classic, sharing photos of the red hives and welts that broke out all over her body after a real Christmas tree was delivered to her office.

Christmas is Jo’s favourite time of year, so she was delighted when the huge work Christmas tree – her first-ever real one – arrived at her work, but she never expected what happened next. 

jo christmas tree allergy
Jo was so excited for her first real Christmas tree at the office. Photo: Supplied

Within minutes her eyes and skin started itching, her nose began running and she broke out in hives.

It got worse as the week went on, especially when she came out in red welts after accidentally touching it.

“I’m gutted as Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I’ve always loved the real trees they have in Christmas movies on the TV, so I was so excited to get my first real-life one,” Jo said.

Jo initially had no idea what was causing the reaction and kept returning to work until her doctor helped her figure out what was going on.

allergic reaction
Within minutes she started getting red hives and feeling itchy. Photo: Supplied

It was only when the doctor asked what had changed in her surroundings during that last week, that she realised her allergies were caused by her office Christmas tree.

“Not being able to go near real Christmas trees is a bummer,” Jo said.

“I've always had hay fever which is exacerbated by pollen, but didn't even consider it would be the Christmas tree flaring my allergies.” 

Jo was diagnosed with ‘Christmas Tree Syndrome’, which is on the rise, according to experts, and could be deadly in some cases.

She said her doctor actually ended up writing her a certificate so she could continue to work from home until the Christmas tree was removed, but as she loves the holiday season so much, Jo just asked for the tree to be moved further away from her instead.

“Rather than ruining it for everyone, I asked if we could move the tree to the other side of the office,” she explained. 

“I work in a jovial fun office so it caused some hilarity ... I was sure that everyone was calling me ‘The Grinch’.”

allergic reaction moogoo cream
Jo used an Aussie skincare brand to help soothe her red welts. Photo: Supplied

As well as using antihistamines, the only cream that helped soothe her itchy skin and hives was an $18.50 Eczema and Psoriasis Cream from Australian skin care brand MooGoo.

“My arms and legs were really itchy and came out in hives, and they scabbed over from where I’d been scratching. The chemist recommended the MooGoo cream and it took the sting and redness out straight away, and my skin was practically healed within a week or so,” Jo raved.

Jo has now bought a black fake Christmas tree that cost a few hundred dollars for herself to enjoy.

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