Allergies are kind of crazy when you think about it, something that has no effect on one person can completely wreck someone else and there's really no way of knowing until "Oops!" you stumbled into it.
Some allergies are mild inconveniences and we power through them, like my allergy to certain chemical fragrances. I just use unscented soap, deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent and anything else I can find. My reactions were kind of strange. I would break out in rashes, which is pretty normal, but those rashes would then be followed by large painful cysts that would need to be drained. There's so much fragrance in deodorants, you guys. Luckily, both of my parents have the same allergy and it's really not that uncommon, so figuring it out happened pretty quickly.
That's not the care with more unusual allergies. It can take years of suffering and confusion before you figure out what's causing your body to go haywire. One Reddit user asked:
Redditors with unusual allergies. What is your allergy and how has it impacted you?
We've got one person who can't go into craft stores during the holidays, a college student who can't even be in the room with alcohol, and probably a vampire. Yeah, like I said, allergies are kind of crazy. Here are some of the more surprising responses, edited for language or clarity if needed, of course.
Enjoy! Wait. Is that weird to say when you're about to read about a bunch of people's suffering? Whatever, I'm running with it. Here we go...
Allergic - But Not Like THIS
Poison Ivy. Yeah yeah, I've heard it all before. "Everyone is allergic to poison ivy!"
Not like I am.
I've caught it from smoke, when someone burned a patch to clear it out. I can get it if I go swimming in a pond that had poison ivy runoff. And I don't get it like you get it. You probably just get a rash that itches locally. I have to go to the hospital to get steroids and plastic surgery because my skin turns into scales.
Every summer, while growing up, I got steroids to take just because poison ivy was in my area and those steroids would help me fight it.
I've gotten poison ivy from touching a gas pump after someone else doing yard work used it. I've gotten poison ivy so bad the doctor thought about putting me into a coma to wait out the pain of it.
I moved to high altitude where there isn't any poison ivy.
An Apple A Day
I've got oral allergy syndrome, which isn't crazy uncommon but not many people who don't have it know about it.
Basically my body reads the proteins of fresh fruit the same as the proteins of pollen (or whatever else gives me hay fever) and rejects them. But once the fruit is cooked, the protein structure has changed and I'm no longer allergic.
It's also not consistent. I can't have peaches, pears, apples, cherries, or anything like that but I'm totally fine with berries, citrus fruits, and bananas. I also have a mild allergy to carrots and tree nuts which is supposedly due to the oral allergy syndrome.
As a kid, adults would not believe me when I told them I was allergic to fresh fruit. They'd tell me I was just being picky and try to force me to eat it anyway. Like bitch, I know the difference between "this is gross" and "my throat and mouth itch uncontrollably and my lips are numb".
I'm allergic to red food dye, red #40 specifically. It's the dye that makes Benadryl pink. It's also in f*cking everything.
My son has a "sensitivity" to red food dye. When he was younger he developed a vocal tic, head jerk and hand jerk. The doctor said it was attention seeking behavior. He would come home from school in tears because he would "hold in" the urge to have the ticks. It took along time to narrow down the cause to red 40. He's 21 now and when he has time off he'll binge on candy with red dye then feel like crap.
I have gotten so many weird looks after telling people "I can't eat/drink that, it has Red #40 in it." If I have it in small amounts usually my stomach will feel bad for a while, in higher amounts like say a big bag of cheddar chips that i forgot to check for dye and I'll projectile vomit and get a terrrrrible UTI. Not fun.
t took forever for my mum to realize that my brother was allergic to red food dye. If he ate food with red food dye he would fly off the handle, get completely hyper active, throw a tantrum, get a migraine and then pass out.
Wife Is A Vampire?
My wife is allergic to garlic. It's not all that common but not rare enough to be unheard of. We have to be very careful about what to buy at the store. It seems like 60% of what's on the store shelves has garlic in it in amounts she can't handle. So we usually home make most of our foods and stick to non-garlic sources. She can't go to certain restaurants either, because some have so much garlic that it's everywhere.
Semen. I break into rashes/hives when it touches my skin, sore throats when it's in my mouth, and a burn that lasts for a few hours when it's inside me.
It makes sex difficult. I am also allergic to latex and my husband is a bit... "bigger" so our condoms can be super pricey. I deal with the pain by taking Benadryl when I have sex, and rinse out with a shower.
It's a lot more complicated to get pregnant too since my body is allergic to sperm, and I've only been able to be pregnant once (and depressingly miscarriaged)
It kinda sucks.
NOT Lactose Intolerant
Not technically unusual, I'm allergic to Dairy. 99% of people think I mean lactose intolerant, no.
Anaphylactic shock to all dairy.
If you get ice cream on my skin a painful, itchy hive/rash will occur. On the RAST test Im a 5, as high as it gets. A 6 to goat milk(they stop counting the antibodies after a certain point because it is too much). I have been this way since childhood, so no, I do not know what pizza, chocolate, ice cream or cheese taste like.
My bones are denser than normal because I weightlift and I am frequently asked if I am a marine due to my broad build. Eating out makes me anxious, the burn of spicy/seasoned food feels the same as a reaction and cross-contamination is a big issue.
My diet is veggies, meat and some carbs, just without sauces/condiments/butter.
Beer Gut Adjustments
Nickel. Most belt buckles and things of that nature are at least partially composed of nickel. If I don't have my shirt tucked in, I have to wear my belt sideways, otherwise it touches my beer gut when I sit down, and makes for a very itchy rash the rest of the day.
Cinnamon. Became allergic in adulthood. Apparently it's rare in children but more common in adults. I miss chai lattes SO DAMN MUCH. I have to be careful in restaurants because cinnamon is a lovely ingredient to add to foods. Also can't really go in JoAnn Fabrics during this time of year due to their cinnamon scented everything.
I miss you, delicious spice.
I'm severely allergic to alcohol. Even being in a room where alcohol is present can give me a headache. I've always had a massive aversion towards alcohol more than other kids. The first time I tried a tiny sip of diluted wine it made nauseated, dizzy to the point of almost fainting and very short of breath. The same happened when I tried beer a year later. At that point I wasn't sure it was alcohol or something else (sulphates or congeners or something) but I wasn't planning on finding out so I just swore of alcohol all together.
But in my first year of studying biology at uni there was a practical where we needed to use 70% ethanol and most people left their pots open and I got the same reaction. That's how I knew for sure.
I have gotten pretty shit remarks over it from people. People telling me I'm overreacting (I'm not), that one drink won't kill me (it will), one time I was told I'm a liar and that you can't be allergic to alcohol (it's rare but you can be).
I'm an early twenty something in uni so alcohol is all around me. It can be a drag. There are so many events that are only about drinking and I have zero desire to participate in those events. It is no fun being sober around drunk people.
I'm allergic to omega-3. Spent years trying to figure out why I got violently ill each time I had things like salmon, tuna, lots of eggs, etc. Even the teenage development vitamins my mother got me in middle school (they had extra omega-3 for growth and each time I took one I vomited pink sludge for three days) Asked a doctor a out it a couple years ago- she immediately said that was an extremely bad allergy to omega-3 and to avoid it at all costs because vomiting violently and all my other symptoms (including the occasional fever, all of which my parents associated with me having a weak stomach) were signs of anaphylaxis and if I wasn't careful I could go into shock and die.
My mother refuses to believe I'm allergic and tells everyone, include my regular practitioner, that I fake the allergy and convinced this medical professional with 7 degrees I have a nonexistent allergy.
So I cut out most foods with omega-3 in them and I've been very careful since then. Went from throwing up fairly frequently to, in the past couple years since being diagnosed, only throwing up maybe once or twice. HUGE change. I'm able to gain weight now, my teeth are no longer as messed up (stomach acid decays them, and before I cut it out of my diet I was vomiting several times a month) and I feel a lot better in general.
I do miss seafood, but I can still eat a couple eggs at a time without anything but stomach pain and cramps, so I eat eggs sometimes to make sure I'm getting enough omega-3 to be healthy.
I'm allergic to sodium laurel sulfate, which is in toothpaste and mouthwash. It gives me super painful canker sores that I've had to get special medication to fix in the past. It's my only allergy, and it's a super stupid one. I usually have to get toothpaste from my dentist without it.
Vibrations aka vibration urticaria. I break out in an itchy rash from clapping my hands, bumpy rides, walking too quickly, running, and any other kinds of vibrations.
Mint! And menthol. Gives me rashes, headaches, vomiting.
Has affected my life because I have to use children's toothpaste and mouthwash, I have to leave the room if people have mint chewing gum as the smell makes me nauseous. Have to check every packet of chicken tikka sandwiches or lamb anything just in case it has a secret mint sauce in it. Throat lozenges I can't have due to the menthol in them, which is quite often not labelled so I have wasted a lot on various kinds of throat sweet to no avail.
Spanish mosquitos. Any other country, I get bitten, I get a standard red lump. In Spain I get a huge itchy purple type 4 hypersensitivity reaction which persists for ages. I've got a tiny purple patch on my leg from a bite 20 years ago.
Moving Away From Paradise
I did the 100 needle back prick test and I was allergic to your normal stuff...Dust, pollen, dogs, cats, mold, etc. But...cockroaches...
They are the reason I was getting so sick all the time. I lived in Hawaii and they were EVERYWHERE.
I was pretty much sick 1/3rd of my life the 5 years I lived there. I got obviously better when I moved.
I'm allergic to the cold. Whenever it gets really cold outside I break out in hives. I cant even go swimming because the coldness from the water causes me to break out with hives. When I went to the doctors about it, they said it was a reaction to the cold dealing with what i think was vitamin A. Although I break out in hives, I still love the cold. I love winter, I love snow. The only major impact it has had in my life is that I no longer swim because when I have a breakout, it covers almost my entire body with large, itchy welts.
Not Depression, Just Allergies
I am crazy allergic to dust mites. I have to sleep with special hypoallergenic pillows and sheets, which still barely help, and an air purifier, which makes my room smell like ozone. I can't sleep at friends' houses or in any unfamiliar locations without waking up wheezing. Even with massive amounts of Benadryl and allergy meds, my entire face can swell up if I sleep on a regular pillow.
It's impossible to escape.
Once I got called into the guidance office because they thought I was depressed. I was like "what the hell are you talking about" and they said "well, you come in crying every day."
Nope. I just wake up with watery, swollen eyes every morning, and then people think I'm crying. My father got such weird looks when he dropped me off at school.
The Cause And Cure
I am allergic to pet hair, dust, pollen etc. All the usual stuff really.
However, I am also allergic to antihistamines so treating my allergies is rather difficult.
I have an allergy to paper - more specifically some chemicals that go into processing paper. Basically, if I spend too much time breaking down boxes or handling paper my fingers start cracking and bleeding.
The only time I really have an issue is when I am setting up trade shows for work but now I just wear gloves.
Rice. I'm Asian. do the math… I can.