Last week we looked at the 5 of the most common allergies around the world. So, this week let us a look at the flip side of this. Some of the strangest allergies. In case you missed last week’s article this is what it means to have an allergy.
An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance as though it is harmful. These substances that cause the body to react in such a way are called allergens. The role of your immune system is to fight harmful pathogens to keep you healthy but when an allergen is detected by your body as harmful it responds by attacking it. Depending on the allergen, your body may experience different symptoms.
An allergy to water is known as aquagenic urticaria and is a rare condition when a person breaks out in hives or experiences irritation on the skin when they come into contact with water. There is currently no treatment for this type of reaction and occurs regardless of the temperature of the water. In terms of the irritation to the skin, anti-pruritic lotions or creams can help soothe the skin. There are only 50 or so cases of this condition reported around the world! This allergy does not mean you cannot drink water, it just means you need to avoid water coming into contact with your skin.
No, this does not mean you can get things for free! This strange allergy occurs when people handle loose change. It can cause rashes and people with a money allergy are advised to avoid leaving loose change in their pockets. The actual component that these people are allergic to is nickel sulphate. Other objects that provoke a similar reaction include jewellery, metal parts of clothing, hair pins, lighters etc.
Some people might see this as their lucky escape but this allergy has only been reported 1,000 times since the 1970s. There are two types of exercise allergy. One occurs after eating food and exercising within two hours and the other occurs without eating food. This allergy can range in severity from breaking out in hives and goes all the way up to the most extreme case, anaphylaxis. This life-threatening reaction needs immediate treatment such as an EpiPen or a trip to the emergency room. Symptoms of anaphylaxis includes: difficulty in breathing, drop in blood pressure, constriction of airways, loss of consciousness etc.
The scientific name for allergy to touch is dermatographia urticarial. It literally translates to writing on the skin. The reason for this name is that if you suffer from this allergy you can write your name on your skin with only pressure from your fingernail. As the skin is very sensitive, a number of things could trigger a reaction such as drying off with a towel or wearing tight clothing and this causes the skin to break out in hives. The rash usually goes away in 15 to 30 minutes but antihistamines can be used to soothe the hives and irritation.
Myth Buster - Electricity
People claim to suffer from electro-sensitivity. They claim to be sensitive around electrical fields generated by phones, mircowaves, computers, power lines etc. People who suffer from electro-sensitivity have reported experiencing headaches, earaches, fatigues and several other complaints. But the truth is all studies on electro-sensitvity have come up with the same conclusion. There is no such thing!
Were you surprised from some of these strange and fascinating allergies? Next week is Allergy Awareness Week. To find out more about this day, follow the link here.
By Pooja Depala