Top 10 Odd Allergies

Posted by on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We’ve all had to deal with the coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, a rash or some other skin irritation, and maybe even hives. And for what? Usually do to some substance that our body is allergic to, causing annoying and sometimes painful symptoms.

It’s safe to say that most people are allergic to something. Whether it be pet dander, dust, chocolate, or that lovely yellow powdery substance we like to call pollen, most people have to deal with being allergic to one thing or another. Being allergic to dust or pollen or certain types of foods seems common these days, but can you imagine being allergic to something else? Say…the sun? Here’s a list of the top ten oddest allergies.

10. Wood

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Wood allergies can definitely be troublesome. While people are allergic to certain types of wood or sawdust, there are cases when people are allergic to any type of wood in many types of forms, whether it is dust or solid. Along with wood allergies comes the fact that you can’t touch paper, use a pencil, or be a lumberjack! The allergy can be so strong that it can cause the skin to look as if it was burned. In most cases wood allergies cause skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, and hives.

9. Plastic

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In today’s world, I can’t imagine being allergic to plastic. As more everyday items are being turned into plastic items in order to be recycled, being allergic to plastic definitely has to be a hassle. Having plastic dermatitis means no drinking from water bottles, no Tupperware, certain types of glasses can’t be worn, no credit cards, or even plastic utensils. This allergy usually causes skin irritation such as a rash, swelling, redness, or itching.

8. Nickel – Nickel dermatitis

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Nickel dermatitis is said to affect about 1% of the population today. While not a rare allergy, this allergy has become more widely known as the use of cell phones and other technical gadgets has skyrocketed. As more people use cell phones and iPods, there are more cases of nickel allergies popping up throughout the world. An allergy to nickel can make life hard, as many everyday items usually contain it. For instance, coins, jewelry, certain types of clothing, scissors, kitchen utensils, and even metal chairs.

7. Caffeine

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Caffeine intolerance is a pretty common ailment. However, there are people that cannot ingest the smallest amount of caffeine without having to deal with life threatening allergic reactions. We all know caffeine to be the wonder drug when we need a little energy boost during the day. Those allergic to caffeine can experience delusions, anxiety attacks, hallucinations, muscle jerks, rashes, hives, heart palpitations, and blurry vision. Some even experience seizures which can be deadly.

6. Kissing

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Sometimes a kiss isn’t just a kiss. This is exactly the case for those who are said to be allergic to kissing. No we’re not talking about a dwindling marriage either. Though this allergy doesn’t mean one is allergic to another’s lips or…tongue, the person who suffers from this allergy is usually one with a severe food or medicinal allergy. Because of the close contact and sharing of saliva, food particles or particles from medicine can be left in the mouth, causing an allergic reaction in some.

5. Computers – Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

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Allergies to computers seems almost impossible these days, and even more impossible to imagine. However, computer users have complained or nasal congestion, sneezing, itching, and even headaches after using the computer. Studies have found that computer monitors and other parts contain a chemical called triphenyl phosphate, which is used as a flame retardant. Fortunately, levels of the chemical usually decrease after the computer is used for a longer amount of time.

4. Exercise – Anaphylaxis

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You’ve probably heard someone joke and say that they are allergic to exercise out of the mere cost of being funny and probably lazy. However, there is in fact a real allergy that makes some allergic to exercising. Only 1,000 people are said to have the allergy. Called exercise-induced anaphylaxis, this allergy is only noticed after someone eats a certain type of food, say peanuts, and goes to exercise. That person can easily eat peanuts without having a reaction, but when exercise is added, the person may experience fainting, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

3. Cold – Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome

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Not many people love being in the cold, but imagine being allergic to it. Known as familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS) or simply cold urticaria, this allergy is caused by cold temperatures. The cold weather will trigger the body to release histamine in the skin which causes rashes, hives, redness, and swelling. This condition can be deadly, especially if undiagnosed, as most people may at times swim in a cold pool or take a cool shower. Both of these can cause the body to go into shock.

2. Sun – Erythropoietic Protoporphyria

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It is very rare that people are allergic to the sun, but the allergy does exist. It is said that only 300 people in the world are allergic to the sun. It’s medically known as solar urticaria. There is also a more serious condition known as erythropoietic protoporphyria. When exposed to direct sunlight, the immune system activates inflammatory cells that are within the skin. Most people allergic to the sun are told to limit their exposure and to wear sun block. Others need to wear special clothing or avoid the sun at all costs.

1. Water – Aquagenic Urticaria

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Known as aquagenic urticaria, this condition is said to only affect one out of every 23 million people in the world. Being allergic to water is extremely rare, and most that are allergic to it are confined to their homes. Being allergic to water means being allergic to sweat as well as tears, and even allergic to foods that contain water, such as juices, tea, and coffee. This means that bathing and showering are extremely difficult. The person is hypersensitive to the ions found in non-distilled water, so most have to be very careful when drinking water, or they drink non-distilled water. Here is an article from an actual case of aquagenic urticaria.

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