10 Weird Allergies That Actually Exist
It’s allergy season again– oh, sorry. I’ll wait for you to stop sneezing. Done? Okay, I’ll start over. It’s allergy season again, which means you’re probably stocking up on allergy medicine, Kleenex, and nasal spray, locking your cat in the closet for his annual 4-month hibernation, and dreading going to bed every night, because it means you have to wake up the next morning feeling like a 747 full of snot crashed into your face. Your seasonal allergies may be wrecking you right now, but just be thankful you don’t have one of these 10 weird allergies that actually exist:
If you’re allergic to water, then you’re either a) one of the aliens from Signs, or b) a sufferer of Aquagenic Urticaria, a rare allergy to water. People who are allergic to water develop hives, welts, lesions, and rashes on any part of the skin that’s exposed to water, and since water is the most abundant substance on the entire planet, that can be problematic. Scientists don’t know the actual underlying cause of the water allergy, but they do know that histamines (the little a-holes that cause most of your normal allergies) are not to blame, as most sufferers do not respond to antihistamine treatments. They’re best guess is that people who are allergic to water are probably allergic to the additives and other stuff that’s in water, and not to the H2O itself. Try telling that to someone who can never take a shower, and see how much better it makes them feel.
Cell phones contain more than just your contacts, emails, photos, games, and those few penis pictures that famous athlete texted you. They also contain nickel, which a lot of people are allergic to (sidenote: how crazy would it be if Thomas Jefferson was allergic to nickel?). Aside from the elements that are used to manufacture your cell phone, your phone also emits traces of radiation, electromagnetism, and microwaves that can trigger allergic reactions in people with particularly sensitive skin. Nobody’s been able to prove conclusively that the radiation from cell phones really has an adverse effect on human health, but it can definitely cause redness, itchiness, dermatitis, and even welts on extremely sensitive skin that’s exposed to cell phones. But then, that’s exactly what they made those nerdy bluetooth headsets for, right?
Thinking about becoming a vampire? Well, you probably would be if you suffered from photo uticaria, an allergy to sunlight. Everybody turns red when they’ve been exposed to too much sunlight, but photo uticaria sufferers develop rashes, hives, and painful skin inflammation after any exposure to sunlight. Luckily, antihistamines and allergy steroids can lessen and even eliminate the effects in some cases, but not being able to go in the sun? That would be like living in the movie Daybreakers all the time, and if you saw that movie you know how much everything sucked.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve had hundreds of attractive ladies tell you that they wouldn’t sleep with you, but only because they’re allergic to semen. You probably thought that was a terrible lie, and that you were just a complete loser but the ladies were too nice to tell you that. Good news! It turns out they were probably telling you the truth: some women (and men, for that matter) are allergic to semen! Doctors have no idea why, but people who suffer from Human Seminal Plasma Hypersensitivity develop burning rashes and welts within 10 minutes of exposure to human semen. Ironically, the only real solution for the problem is frequent, repeated exposure to semen. Why are you still reading this?! Get out your little black book, start calling all those ladies who turned you down, and let them know that you’ve discovered a cure for their Human Seminal Plasma Hypersensitivity!
Some people are just dirty, smelly people. But some people are actually allergic to deodorant. More specifically, they’re allergic to one or a few of the ingredients contained within most deodorants, and exposure to that ingredient can cause pain, redness, itching, flaking of the skin, hives, painful pustules, and even disgusting, puss-oozing lesions in particularly severe cases. For those suffering from a deodorant allergy, there’s still hope. You don’t have to be “the stinky guy in the office/apartment/class/walmart checkout line” forever! Many prescription deodorants lack some of the more volatile ingredients that cause allergic reactions, and talcum or baby powder can also be used as a last resort. If you’re allergic to baby powder, then how did you even make it this long?!
Believe it or not, some people can be allergic to their own sweat. Sweat is a natural body process. You sweat even when you’re not doing anything, so how can your body be allergic to something it naturally has to do every day? It turns out that sweat contains a lot of toxins that you’re body is trying to get rid of, and for people with extremely sensitive skin, that can spell disaster. People who are allergic to their own sweat experience symptoms similar to heat stroke, including redness, itchiness, and even painful welts that can last hours. Doctors don’t know exactly why some people are allergic to their own sweat (although I stand firm in my belief that some people have tiny demons in their sweat, just like how other people have tiny angels in theirs), but standard and prescription allergy treatments have been effective in treating most cases. If those medications don’t help, then try sitting in a perfectly air-conditioned room and never moving, ever, for the rest of your life.
An allergy to exercise? That just sounds like an excuse that fat people use to avoid the gym, right? Actually, some people really are allergic to exercise, and this allergy is one of the most severe allergies on this list. It’s extremely difficult to accurately diagnose Exercise Urticaria or the more serious Exercise-induced Anaphylaxis, because so much is going on in your body when you’re exercising. People who suffer from an allergy to physical exercise can experience redness, rashes, itching, hives, swelling, delusions, nausea, and vomiting. If the situation is severe, they can even slip into anaphylactic shock, which means they’ll need an epinephrin shot, stat! It’s probably best to not go to the gym with this person. Not that you should judge people based on their ailments, but…y’know, just to be on the safe side.
Some people are allergic to their cell phones because the phones contain nickel. What contains more nickel than a cell phone? A nickel! It’s possible that some people could be allergic to certain dyes in paper money, but most money allergies have to do with nickel. Nickel allergies are particularly difficult to diagnose and tolerate because nickel has permeated so many aspects of our lives. Nickel is used in stainless steel, magnets, coins, guitar strings, batteries, and in many different alloys. In fact, you’re probably sitting within a few feet of some nickel right now. Imagine if you were horribly allergic to it!
If you’re a person who’s skin is sensitive to chemicals, then you must absolutely hate wearing shoes every single day of your life. Shoes contain a cocktail of different dyes, glues, resins, rubber cements, and other substances that rub on the sweatiest part of your body all day long. Some of these substances contain volatile stuff like formaldehyde, rosin, and chromates that can send particularly sensitive skin into a tizzy. You’ll know you’re allergic to your shoes if you experience dermatitis, itchiness, redness, or flaking skin. Allergy medications will probably help, but if you happen to be allergic to rubber or leather, it’s probably best to just run off and join a hippie commune, because you’ll need to go barefoot most of the time.
The difficulty with allergies is that everyone’s body is just a little bit different, so almost anyone can be allergic to almost anything, and that allergy may reveal itself in confusing and unclear ways. Your laundry detergent could cause you to sneeze compulsively, and the only way to figure it out is to systematically test everything you come into contact with. Fortunately, it’s a little easier for some people, because a very small percentage of the population is allergic to EVERYTHING. So far, most of the people who are diagnosed with this so-rare-it-doesn’t-even-have-a-name-yet allergy to everything can handle water, but that’s about it. All of the nutrients they would normally get from food are provided through a feeding tube. They’re not allowed contact with the outside world or any substances that haven’t been fully sanitized. You think it’s bad when a warm spring day throws you into a sneezing fit? Try not being able to eat, walk around, play with your cat, talk to your friends, check your email, go to the park, drink a milkshake, or do anything else except sit in an oxygen bubble and suck on a tube.Speak Your MindTell us what you're thinking... and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!