Allergic reactions are one of the most perplexing mysteries of modern medicine, because common as they are, scientists don’t know exactly what causes them.
Allergies are brought on when the body’s immune system produces antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. As a result, the body inflames your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.
Living with allergies is hell, but if you think your allergy to seafood is bad, you might feel better after reading this and knowing there are people out there who have it worse than you.
Here are 8 of the most bizarre allergies in the world.
Aquagenic urticarial is an allergy to water. Although it is relatively rare, people who have it break out in hives whenever they get in contact with H20. Immersion in water would result in weals forming all over the body. If you have it, you can’t drink a glass of water or wipe your tears without inflammation or pain. Thankfully aquagenic urticarial lasts only for a period of time and usually goes away on its own.
People who suffer from Cholinergic urticarial have an excuse not to go to the gym. It manifests as an uncontrollable itching sensation—usually 30 minutes after a workout. This allergy is triggered by sweat, although others experience it regardless of how intense the physical exertion is. This type of allergic reaction can be countered by antihistamines, thankfully.
Also known as sun poisoning, the most common form of sun allergy is called polymorphic light eruption. Factors such as medications, chemicals and medical conditions can make the skin vulnerable to the sun. Scientists remain unsure why some people have it and others don’t. Signs and symptoms include: redness, itching or pain, tiny bumps that may merge into raised patches, scaling, crusting or bleeding, blisters or hives.
If you’re trying to conceive a baby, then having an allergy to semen may be the reason why you’re having trouble; scientists believe that a minor form of this allergy is the culprit behind infertility in some couples. Contact with seminal fluids causes the skin to itch and swell which can last for days. In more severe cases, those who has it can go into anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that involves racing heart rates and the swelling of the throat.
5. Cold temperatures
Also known as cold urticaria or cold hives, this allergic reaction in patients often result in redness, itching, swelling and hives when they come in contact with cold air, water, and even beverages. The sudden drop of temperature causes a massive release of histamine and other immune system chemicals. As a result, the blood pressure drops, which can lead to fainting, shock and, in rare cases, death.
Because soybeans are a common allergen, the dry soybeans found in beanbags pose significant danger. A six-year-old boy suffered a mild respiratory distress while he was playing with a beanbag at school; according to the case study made in 1996, the allergic reaction of the boy was triggered triggered by the dust from dry soybeans inside the beanbag.
Imagine wearing skinny jeans and finding at the end of the day when you take them off that your legs are red and itchy and inflamed. That’s what people with pressure urticarial—the allergy to pressure—deal with on a daily basis. Applying the tiniest amount of force against their skin can be painful and cause irritation.
8. Allergy medicine
The cruelest of them all is perhaps the allergic reaction to allergic medications—people who suffer from it are basically stuck between a rock and a hard place. Doctors’ findings, however, linked the allergy to the dyes and other ingredients used in commercially available antihistamines rather than the antihistamines themselves.
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