Devan McGuinness: Life (Un)Restricted


8 Strange But Real Allergies

Unusual but real potential allergens

When we think about allergies, there are a few common ones that come to mind. Peanuts being a serious one, allergy to dogs or cats, seasonal allergies like hayfever and many intolerances. It's not usually until the potential allergy starts to affect you that you really pay attention to the amount of things someone could be allergic to.

There are some allergens that you may think no one could be allergic to, but they're real and potentially quite serious.

1) The Sun

The most common form of sun allergy is called polymorphic light eruption or sun poisoning. The symptoms can be mild or severe and symptoms may include blisters or hives, itching and redness. To read more about sun allergy, visit MayoClinic

2) The Cold

Known as cold urticaria, this allergy results in hives and a burning sensation that is brought on by cold temperatures or even cold food. Cold allergy can cause serious life threatening reactions such as anaphylaxis. To read more about cold allergy, visit Wikipedia

3) Water

Also called Aquagenic urticaria, this allergy to water is rarely diagnosed and is not a true histamine-releasing allergic reaction, but results in painful skin reactions when water is present. Shortness of breath and throat closing can be a result of drinking water and even a person's own sweat can cause an adverse reaction. To read the story of a woman with water allergy, visit Mail Online

4) Sex

Semen allergy is rare, but also often misdiagnosed when someone visits the doctor trying to find out why you experience itching and burning after intercourse. The body is reacting to a particular protein in the semen and can be alleviated by using a condom. To read more about semen allergy, visit Psychology Today

5) Raw Food

Oral allergy syndrome is an allergic reaction to certain proteins in fruits, vegetables and nuts—when eaten raw. Symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose, but more severe reactions such as anaphylactic shock have been reported. To read more about raw food allergy, visit Canadian Food Inspection Agency

6) Money

While not an allergy to the money itself, but an allergy to the material money is made from like printing ink or nickel contact. Symptoms can range from hives on the hands and sneezing have been reported. To read more about money allergy, visit About

7) Exercise

Sounds bizarre, but it's true—you can be allergic to exercise and can be as serious as causing anaphylactic shock. The person may experience dizziness, skin covered in hives and mucus which shuts down the throat. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA) is rare, but can be quite scary for someone who is experience it for the first time. To read more about exercised-induced anaphylaxis, visit Runner's World

8) Touch

Known as dermographism which is an allergy that is brought up thorough touch. The skin becomes irritated, raised, and red when it's slapped, stroked, touched, or scratched. It's also been called "skin writing" since you can write on your arm using your finger and the letters you traced will become bright red and raised. The pictures are interesting, but doesn't sound too pleasant. To read more about dermographism, visit Wikipedia

Do you know anyone who has an allergy to any of these unusual allergens? 

Photo credit: adapted from Michael Hamann /Flickr