Allergies are very common among Americans. According to the Mayo Clinic, one out of five people has an allergy, so even if you don’t suffer from allergies, you probably know someone who does. Although allergies themselves are quite common, there are some allergies, such as the following 10, that are quite uncommon. In fact, they’re downright weird.
This allergy is sometimes referred to as an allergy of heat, sweat, exercise or stress, but cholinergic urticaria is not technically an allergy to any of those things. It’s actually an allergy to an increase in body temperature, which is associated with heat, sweat, exercise and stress. An allergic reaction can also be caused by eating spicy foods or taking a hot bath. The main symptom of this allergy is urticaria, which is a fancy term for hives. Many people with this allergy also experience difficulty breathing, itching of the skin and sometimes fever-like symptoms.
This is a very weird allergy and a very rare one at that. Aquagenic urticaria is an allergy to water and is a very tough allergy to have considering that water makes up most of the Earth and the human body. People who have this allergy can’t drink or bathe in water and have to avoid eating certain foods. Symptoms of this allergy include hives, redness and itching of the skin after coming into contact with water.
Solar urticaria is an allergy to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and can cause the ultimate sunburn. This allergy is very rare and only affects three in 100,000 people. Sufferers of this allergy can break out in hives after being in the sun for just a few minutes. Swelling, blistering, itching and flushing of the skin are other symptoms of solar urticaria, but they usually dissipate within a few hours.
Dermographism is also known as dermatographic urticaria or “the skin writing allergy.” This allergy is a sensitivity to touch. Rubbing, poking, stroking or slapping the skin can cause a skin reaction in the form of hives or wheals, which are flushed, itchy patches of skin. The slightest touch, such as writing on your skin with your fingertip, can cause a reaction. Exercise and sometimes extreme temperatures can cause a reaction as well, so it’s important for people with this allergy to take preventative measures such as taking a warm shower and avoiding rough-feeling towels and clothing. Taking antihistamines can also prevent a reaction.
Anaphylaxis is a serious reaction that requires medical attention. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, a rapid heart rate and even fainting or blacking out. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis only occurs when someone is exercising or when exercising after eating certain foods. It isn’t known why exercise or exercise in combination with certain foods causes this reaction.
Henna tattoos have been popular in certain Asian, African and Middle Eastern cultures for centuries, but only recently has henna dye been linked to allergic reactions. True henna dye is not really to blame, but darker dyes that contain the chemical p-phenylenediamine (PPD) are. PPD is a chemical that is also found in hair dye and can cause blistering and scarring at the site of the tattoo. People who are allergic to hair dye tend to be allergic to black henna dye as well.
Many people refer to this as the cellphone allergy since cellphones are a main cause of allergic reactions. But the allergy is really to nickel, a metal that can be found in cellphones as well as iPods and other electronics. Nickel can also be found in some jewelry and when worn, it can also cause a reaction. Symptoms include a rash or bumps on the skin, redness and itching, and in severe cases, blistering. Sometimes symptoms can show up on areas of the body that have not come in contact with nickel, and the symptoms can last up to two to four weeks in some cases.
Some people mistakenly call this a sex allergy, but sperm is what really causes the reaction. This allergy can affect both men and women. Unfortunately, women who have a severe sperm allergy may not be able to get pregnant. Symptoms of this allergy include skin sensitivity and or burning sensation after having sex, a runny nose, watery eyes and difficulty breathing. Oddly enough, one way to treat this is allergy is to actually have more sex.
To chocoholics this may sound like a nightmare, but some people are allergic to chocolate. Rarely is it the chocolate itself that causes the allergy; additives and preservatives, milk and even insect parts (yes, insect parts) that are ground up with the cocoa beans tend to be the real culprit. The symptoms of a chocolate allergy usually consist of skin reactions like hives, eczema or a rash, but can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and difficulty breathing.
Being allergic to chocolate is one thing, but imagine being allergic to just about all foods and beverages except for water. This condition is known as eosinophilic enteropathy and is an extremely rare allergy. This allergy causes ulcers, inflammation and polyps to develop in the gastrointestinal tract and can be found in both adults and children.