Five Odd Allergies that Sound Like Science Fiction
Chances are you know someone with an allergy. There are many kinds and degrees of having allergies from seasonal to life-threatening. However, some allergies seem too extreme to be real. While it might look like something out of a book, some people suffer from these rare allergies daily.
Though people affected with solar urticaria will generally start seeing symptoms are around age 35, this chronic photosensitivity disorder can occur at any age. It present’s itself as a rash on the skin in areas where the surface was exposed to the sun. Decades ago, this allergy was disabling and required many of those affected never to leave their homes. However, as technology has advanced, those affected have seen their lives improve.
Special windows, lighting, clothing, and cars must be used to make sure a patient does not receive any sunlight. As of right now, not much is known about what causes this allergy, and similarly, limited information is known about how to cure it. Those affected can try phototherapy, intravenous immunoglobulins, plasma exchange, cyclosporine, afamelanotide, and omalizumab with limited results. Oral steroids will not help in this case.
It might seem strange to think that someone could be allergic to the one thing they require to live. That’s what makes aquagenic urticaria so strange. This allergy affects mostly women with only 1 in 23 million people diagnosed. Those allergic have issues taking baths, drinking water, swimming, and sometimes even sweating.
Though there is no understanding of what is causing the allergy, it is known that distilled or carbonated water can allow for those affected to drink regularly. These patients must also keep showers under one minute and avoid pools, rain, water parks, the beach, and other water-filled locations many can take for granted.
It’s hypothesized that it’s not the water that those affected are allergic to, but something in most water. Nothing concrete has been shown to cure or help, but those affected have used antihistamines, omalizumab, phototherapy, and petroleum-based creams with limited success.
While a water allergy might be the most surprising, sperm allergy is the most shocking. It’s a rare condition that only affects women, and it usually shows up within 10 - 30 minutes after skin contact with sperm. It’s also something that doesn’t always present itself the first time a woman has unprotected sex. Developing this allergy throughout your whole life is possible.
While women are protected so long as a condom is used, this allergy can make intimacy and especially conception a challenge. It’s not surprising that this allergy strains most relationships where it’s present. Though it doesn’t affect a woman’s ability to conceive, couples usually opt for artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization where the woman will be protected from raw semen.
We’d venture to say that most people living on the planet prefer warm temperatures over cold ones. However, there is a group of people who rely on warm temperatures to stay alive. Cold urticaria, like the rest of these surprising allergens, is very rare. However, those with this allergy can quickly be put into life-threatening situations.
Think back to the ice bucket challenge. Though you might have hated it, that rush of cold would cause a massive release of histamine for someone affected by an allergy to the cold. This rush of histamines can severely drop blood pressure and lead to death. When these people go out in the winter, they have to be sure to dress appropriately. In the summer, they can’t swim alone. This is in case of the water turns out to be cold enough to trigger their allergy.
If you are sitting down right now and don’t feel irritation, burning, and skin pain, chances are you’re safe. Pressure urticaria is a rare allergy that is rough on those who are affected. It doesn’t take much to set it off, and the effects can last long after the stimulus is gone. Sufferers must be careful of sitting, leaning, wearing tight clothes, wearing scratchy clothes, rubbing across something, using tools, or just sleeping under the covers!
Those allergic often show signs in their 30s. Though chronic, it is usually not for life. Those suffering can expect 1 - 40 years with an average of 9 years until the allergy goes away on its own. The severity of the allergy changes from person to person. This issue can be debilitating to someone who performs manual labor.
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