Strange Allergies

Most Unique Allergies You May Not Have Heard Of Before

Allergy season is a dreaded time for many sufferers who experience awful symptoms at certain times of year. As many as 1 in 4 people are affected by common pollen allergies like hay fever. As terrible as these may seem, imagine having year-round allergies to something as common as water! Here are some of the most unusual yet diagnosable allergies.

Money

Allergy to nickel sulphate found on coins

Imagine having an outbreak after handling loose change. This allergy is actually to nickel sulphate which is found on more than just your change. Sufferers have to be wary of more than just money since nickel sulphate is found on jewelry, glasses, keys, and even some door handles. Wearing gloves won’t just be a winter occurrence.

Fruit, Vegetables & Nuts

Allergy that occurs from proteins found in raw fruit or vegetables

More specifically, pollinated, raw fruit, as well as vegetables and nuts. This is an oral allergy that occurs from proteins found in raw fruit or vegetables that cross-reacts with pollen. These can include apples, kiwis, cherries, pears, melons, celery, and various nuts.

Laundry Detergent

Allergy to the dyes or perfumes in your detergent

Even though you’d think that washing your clothes would get rid of common allergens like pollen or dust, if you happen to have an allergy to the dyes or perfumes in your detergent, you may just have a breakout when putting on a freshly washed shirt.

Fish

Food allergies to fish

One of the most common food allergies is to fish, but this allergy can range in severity. When fish is cooked, the proteins containing allergens are transmitted through the air and trigger reactions in people who are severely allergic.

Caterpillars

Allergic reaction to the pine processionary caterpillar's irritating larvae hairs

They’re cute and fuzzy and seem slow and inconspicuous but the pine processionary caterpillar has irritating larvae hairs that can even travel through the air to land on you! You don’t have to touch these to develop a reaction. You’ll never look at caterpillars the same again.

Coffee

Coffee allergies

Yes, consuming coffee can cause some allergic angioedema, but there have even been reports discussing episodes of coffee manufacturing employees who had allergic reactions due to the air-borne residue of raw green coffee beans.

Water

Not only is water essential in our daily lives, but this allergy, also known as aquagenic urticaria, also includes your own sweat and tears! Flare-ups can occur in the form of hives and the most severe cases can even cause shortness of breath. Looks like you’ll get to skip swim class and intense workouts!

Allergy Medicine

Ironically, some allergy medicines are formed with dyes and additives that people are allergic to. Not to worry, there are special allergy medications that can offer relief from your allergies, both to whatever it may be and to the medicine needed to help prevent outbreaks.

Bean Bags

This is quite a sad allergy to have because who doesn’t love to plop into an oversized bean bag? This actually relates to what is found inside bean bags – dry soybeans. So, for those with a food allergy to soybeans; beware of the bean bag and opt for a sturdy chair.

Steak, Bacon, and Lamb Chops

These are major food groups for some people! The Lone Star tick is responsible for causing this allergy to red meat. It infects people by first biting an animal with the alpha-gal carbohydrate and then biting a human, whose body produces antibodies. Each time you bite into a juicy burger, the antibody is triggered and can cause allergic reactions even in people who have eaten pork and beef their entire lives.

Cold

You may know someone that truly hates the cold and complains every time temperatures drop. (I’ll raise my hand to that!) But people suffering from cold urticaria truly do hate the cold as it can end up developing hives within just minutes of cold exposure. Diagnosable with an ice cube, this may justify why you need to live on a tropical beach.

Sunlight

On the opposite hand, those who suffer from solar urticaria, or solar hives, will not be visiting tropical areas. This allergy stems from a mast cell reaction to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays and can cause itchy rashes or hives on skin.

Airborne Allergens

The most common airborne allergens include pollen, dust, and dander which a large portion of the population already suffers from. These unique allergens are ones you may never have heard of and may even help you figure out why you have certain reactions.

Cockroach Poop

Yes, you read that correctly, cockroach waste left behind as they scamper through your home can end up floating through the air and set off a reaction. As if these little guys aren’t gross enough.

Thunderstorms

Have you ever looked forward to rain, thinking that it would wash away the pollen outside and help you breathe easier? Well, thunderstorms actually break down pollen particles into smaller pieces that end up being inhaled even deeper into lungs. This can impact asthma sufferers worse than people who don’t exhibit symptoms to grass, tree, or pollen allergens.

Wool

Not only wool, but other fabrics including silk, cotton, and synthetic fibers contain resins, chemicals, dyes, and even glues that can cause allergic skin reactions. Although these fabrics mostly results in dermatitis, even being around someone else wearing this material can cause particles to float through the air and irritate those with severe allergies.

Fragrances

Many fragrances contain chemicals, and we’re not just talking about perfumes and cologne but body sprays, deodorants, and hair products. These invisible air-borne chemicals can affect the lives of people around us and be hard to diagnose. Those with severe reactions may even have to avoid public areas like schools and stores.

One way to prevent airborne allergens at home is to install at least a MERV 13 air filter into your home. These can help capture microscopic particles that reduce allergy and asthma triggers like dust, dander, bacteria and smoke so if you’re finding that you’re having reactions indoors, replace your air filter to breathe easier.

If you're interested in learning more about protecting your indoor air quality, check out the rest of our Helpful Tips.