Even if you're currently enjoying a beautiful romantic relationship, your Valentine's Day could be cause for misery if your skin doesn't receive sufficient love. Many of the trappings and rituals of this holiday include potential threats to your skin's well being. Here are some smart tips to help you spend more quality time with your loved one, and less with your dermatologist, this February 14th.

Scents and Sensitivity

If you purchase a popular new perfume or cologne for your Valentine's Day event, resist the urge to surprise yourself and your partner with it at the last minute. For all you know, it could trigger a serious skin reaction such as dermatitis, producing an itchy, ugly red skin rash along with respiratory issues, headaches and other symptoms. This is one surprise your romantic evening can do without, so test your fragrance under more casual circumstances beforehand.

This kind of reaction may resemble an allergic response, but it really isn't. Fragrance sensitivity isn't spurred by an immune system response; instead, perfumes and other such substances act as a direct irritant to the skin, eyes and respiratory system. But it's worth noting that people who already have allergies to various airborne substances may also be at higher risk for fragrance sensitivity.

Attractive Looks, Unattractive Issues

Of course you want to look your best for your Valentine, but take care that your skin doesn't suffer as a result. Visiting tanning salons to counteract those cloudy winter days is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. A golden tan may be accepted by today's society as an indicator of glowing health, but it's also an excellent way to give yourself skin cancer -- including the most deadly skin cancer of them all, melanoma, which has been linked to UV exposure. There are many healthier alternatives to tanning sessions, including sunless tanning lotions and bronzing cosmetics. Even a naturally obtained tan involves much less UV than a tanning booth session.

Cosmetics can pose their own threats to your skin if you don't handle them with care. Eye makeup in particular can infect the skin surrounding the eye, not to mention the eye itself. The older and more frequently used the cosmetic, the greater the risk from accumulated bacteria. When you apply this bacteria-infested product, you can easily give yourself a condition such as blepharitis, an itchy, scaly, unsightly infection of the eyelid's skin. Instead of dusting off that favorite old cosmetic, treat to yourself to a brand-new replacement for the occasion.

Food Allergy Failures

Nothing can turn a romantic dinner into a frustrating failure more quickly than an allergic reaction to the high-priced entrees on your plate. Unfortunately for many Valentines' Day diners, some of the strongest reactions can be triggered by certain foods thought to be aphrodisiacs. Oysters may (or may not) boost the libido, for instance, but they can definitely create a physical response in someone allergic to shellfish. Not only can shellfish allergies cause nausea, vomiting and potentially dangerous breathing problems, but they can also make sufferers break out in hives from head to toe. If this happens, you may want to bypass the dermatologist and head straight for the emergency room for treatment to get the discomfort and swelling under control. Be warned, however, that an acute case of hives can last for up to 6 weeks before finally disappearing.

Shellfish are hardly the only "romantic" food that can create such a scenario. Some people may be allergic to the milk in milk chocolate, so shop for candies with care (and ideally with foreknowledge of your partner's sensitivities). People can also have an allergic reaction to wine, though this is less common. Even if your partner doesn't consume the suspected allergen, you could still cause a reaction by consuming it and then kissing that person -- and not the one you'd hoped to elicit!

Allergic to Sex?

So you and your date have survived the process of beautification and enjoyed a wonderful meal without complications. As you move to the bedroom, be aware that your skin, or that of your partner, may still encounter problems from the most intense part of your Valentine's Day experience. That's because some individuals may be allergic to certain substances employed during sexual activity, most notably birth control products. Condoms are an obvious threat to anyone suffering from a latex allergy, not only during intercourse itself but through their handling and application. Lubricants and spermicides can also produce topical reactions such as hives and other skin issues. Some people are even allergic to semen.

No one is suggesting that you and your partner conclude your romantic evening with a handshake, but you don't want it to end with a maddening skin condition or other allergic symptoms either. The key here, as is with so many other aspects an intimate relationship, is communication. Not only should you discuss any known allergies between yourselves, but you should probably play it safe in advance by having a dermatologist from a clinic like Advanced Dermatology Care perform some quick allergy tests.

Don't let a skin sensitivity, reaction or infection take the romance out of your life. Take care of your skin, and you'll have a more enjoyable time with your favorite person -- not just on Valentine's Day, but all year round!