Even the healthiest person in the world is probably not immune to an allergy. Allergies occur when your body mistakenly identifies a certain substance as dangerous and sends out an immune response to tackle it. This response is ironically what gives us the bad reaction we experience. Peanuts, cat hair and pollen are the usual suspects when it comes to allergies, but there are stranger things people can be allergic to. These eight allergens might sound completely normal to you, but there are some people who are very allergic to them.
Water is the life force that sustains all of us, but some people can’t handle being exposed to it for too long. People with a water allergy break out in hives (medically known as urticaria) as soon as they come into contact with water. Hives from water exposure are red painful bumps that are often very itchy. These hives do go away within half an hour however and are rarely serious. Taking antihistamines before swimming can prevent a hive outbreak from occurring in the first place.
No, being too lazy to go to the gym does not mean you’re allergic to exercise. People who are mildly allergic to exercise break out in hives at the most. However, more serious cases of exercise allergies have resulted in anaphylaxis, which is a sudden drop in blood pressure along with difficulty in breathing. People with exercise allergies either develop an adverse reaction if they’re exercising soon after eating, or sometimes even if they haven’t eaten.
If you notice yourself developing a rash after you handle coins, you might have contact dermatitis. Most coins are made from nickel, a metal that people are often allergic to. People who are allergic to nickel, develop an outbreak on whichever part of their skin nickel has come into contact with. If you have this form of contact dermatitis, you might notice your fingers getting very itchy after you hold coins.
4. Pollinated Fruit
While pollen allergies are very common, cases of allergic reactions from pollinated fruit are much rarer. Pollinated fruits are fruits which contain the same protein that pollen does. Bananas, plums, peaches and tomatoes all share similar proteins to pollen. When people who are allergic to pollinated fruit eat them, their mouth starts itching and their food pipe might feel irritated. This is rarely ever serious though, so spitting out the offending fruit is usually all the action you need to take.
5. Physical Touch
Dermographism is a condition where a person is literally allergic to touch. Any amount of pressure on the skin can cause a person to break out in hives in that area. In fact, the word ‘dermographism’ literally translates to ‘skin writing’. People with severe touch allergy can write a word on their skin using just their nail, and will get a rash in that same pattern. While the hives do go away soon, they can be very itchy and uncomfortable. Antihistamines should control this reaction and stop the itching.
6. The Sun
Considering you can’t really escape the sun, people with sun allergies are very unfortunate. Exposure to the sun’s rays can cause them to immediately break out in itchy, painful hives. The hives do clear up once the person is out of the sun, but only worsen while they’re still exposed. Researchers believe it’s the ultraviolet light in the sun’s rays that is the real cause behind the allergy. Antihistamines do control the itching, but they can’t stop the allergic reaction from happening.
Think twice before you invest in those expensive leather shoes, you might be allergic to them. People with leather allergies are actually allergic to the chemicals used in the tanning process. These chemicals give them a form of contact dermatitis, which means their skin breaks out in rashes wherever it was exposed to the leather. If your feet do get itchy after wearing leather shoes, always wear socks first. Socks will prevent your skin from coming into contact with leather, so you won’t get ugly bumps all over your feet.
Semen allergies among women are very rare, but they do exist. Exposure to semen can cause swelling and painful hives in the vaginal area. A gynecologist will usually run a few tests to confirm that you are allergic to semen and then prescribe antihistamines to control the reaction. Semen allergies are especially concerning for women trying to get pregnant. If antihistamines don’t work, artificial insemination might be their only option.