6 Strange Allergies

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The runny nose, watery eyes and itchy skin from allergies can be a nuisance. But for some people,  allergies can truly affect their quality of life.


Though spice allergies are rare, the 2 to 3 percent of people living with one have a difficult time, because spices are in almost all foods. Also, because the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate spices, they are not typically noted on food labels. Cosmetics, perfumes and dental products, such as toothpaste also can contain spices. The most common spice allergy triggers are cinnamon and garlic.


An allergy to water, also known as aquagenic urticaria, causes itchy red or white lumps on the skin after direct contact with water. Water temperature is not a factor. This allergy is more common in women and starts around puberty.

Cell phones

Cell phones, costume jewelry, coins, belt buckles and many other everyday items contain nickel, which is a cause for contact dermatitis. In fact, nickel allergy is sometimes called the cellphone allergy. This allergy is not rare. In fact, it is the second most common source of contact dermatitis after poison ivy.

Raw fruit and vegetables

Oral allergy syndrome is caused when someone with hay fever bites into a raw fruit or vegetable and develops an itchy mouth. The allergic reaction is caused by pollen that crosses over to similar proteins in the foods. Cooked fruits and vegetables do not usually cause the same reaction, as the proteins are sensitive to heat. Some common foods that cause this are apples, carrots, peaches, tomatoes, and bananas.

Being touched

Dermatographic urticaria, or dermatographism, causes a person’s skin to be extremely sensitive to touch and pressure. When the skin is touched or scratched, a raised, itchy, red rash appears where it was scratched or touched. This condition is also called skin writing, because words can be scratched into the skin, as the letters will become red and raised due to the rash.


Though people aren’t allergic to the act itself, between 20,000 and 40,000 Americans are allergic to the proteins in semen. It is possible for both men and women to be allergic to semen, though it is less common in men.  In rare cases, a man can be allergic to his own semen. Symptoms of this allergy include redness, swelling, itching. This type of allergy can sometimes be mistaken for an STD.