9 Unexpectedly Surprising Things You Could Be Allergic To!

Last Updated on June 21, 2020

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about allergies? Probably seasonal (mainly pollen), food, and pet allergies. All these three types of allergies are incredibly common and annoying. But the truth is that almost anything can trigger an allergic reaction of some kind.

In this article, we will tell you about 9 weird allergies. Some are very rare, and others are way more common than you might think!

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1. Smartphones

Smartphone manufacturers use a series of components to build their products. Nickel and chromium are among them. Both these metals are known allergens, and, according to research, the amount released from smartphones is enough to induce acute contact dermatitis.

People with nickel allergy develop itchy rashes on their hands, cheeks, and ears – the three areas of the body where the smartphone is mostly in contact with.

It is worth mentioning that people with metal allergies will be sensitive to these items for the rest of their lives. In this specific case, you can overcome this problem simply by using a protective case made from another material.

2. Computer Mouse

There are countless jobs and hobbies that require users to be constantly grabbing a computer mouse. This prolonged exposure may cause an allergic reaction characterized by a dry red scaling rash or a thickened and pigmented rash in the area of the hand that is in touch with the mouse – often the base of the palm and fingertips.

Known computer mouse allergens include phthalate components (used to improve flexibility) and resorcinol monobenzoate (ultraviolet absorber used to protect the plastics from solar damage).

3. Laundry Detergent And Dryer Sheets

The list of chemicals present in laundry detergents is very, very long. Some of them can cause red, itchy rashes in many people.

Change your laundry detergent (or fabric softener) as soon as you suspect you might be allergic to it. Pick one without an added scent or dyes, as these two components usually contain known allergen ingredients. Using dryer sheets in your laundry routine may also trigger a similar allergic reaction.

4. Cosmetic Products

Developing skincare products involves a series of extensive testing to make sure the product is safe for mass use. However, given the number of chemicals present in these products, it is extremely common for people to experience allergic reactions.

That’s why most manufacturers recommend applying a very small portion of a new cosmetic product to the same area of your skin before start using it normally. If you don’t have a rash by the end of the third day, you are probably going to be safe.

5. Wool Allergy

You don’t need to be allergic to wool to find this material very itchy. Many people do. However, it can trigger an allergic reaction – it’s not just a discomfort caused by wool sensitivity. In the vast majority of the cases, lanolin is the ingredient responsible for this allergy. Lanolin is a substance that is often used in beauty products.

Wool allergy symptoms include itchy skins, rashes, irritated eyes, runny nose, and cough. Like most allergic reactions, it can lead to complications such as sinusitis, asthma attacks, and ear and lung infections.

6. Red Meat

This food allergy was recently discovered, and researchers called it the Alpha-gal syndrome. Alpha-gal is a specific carbohydrate found in many mammals cells – including cows, sheep, and pigs.

When humans are bitten by a lone star tick or the paralysis tick, the body develops antibodies that react to alpha-gal as a defense mechanism. So, the alpha-gal carbohydrates present in meat will trigger the immune system to react to it as if it were a dangerous threat to your organism.

Like most food allergies, symptoms include severe itching, hives, stomach problems, and potentially anaphylaxis. These symptoms occur 3 to 8 hours after the consumption of red meat.

7. Water

Can you imagine being allergic to water? What a nightmare! But some people are. This rare condition is known as aquagenic urticaria. It occurs when a person develops hives (that may or may not cause an itching sensation) on the skin after being in contact with water – any kind of water and regardless of temperature.

Currently, there is no treatment available to treat this condition permanently. Patients must avoid water and take antihistamines to reduce allergy symptoms. Fortunately, this is an external skin allergy that doesn’t manifest itself when patients drink water.

8. Tattoos

Over the past few decades, tattoos have established themselves as part of our culture. And tattoo allergies became common. These are usually caused by pigments, dyes, or metallic substances contained in the inks used.

Since tattoo ink is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, you need to make sure you’re getting your tattoo from a reputable artist that works on a facility that strictly complies with the most rigorous hygiene and safety standards.

You can also ask to only get a tiny mark tattooed on your first session to see how your skin reacts to the ink. In some cases, it might not be easy to know if you have an allergy or an infection – the latter usually last much longer, and the symptoms extend beyond the tattooed area.

9. Books

Yes, people can be allergic to books and not in a metaphorical way. This is because books can keep known allergens such as dust, dust mites, mold, and animal dander for a very long time. Common signs you have an allergy include a stuffed nose, headaches, hives, rashes, or even breathing difficulties.


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