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9 Uncommon Allergies: Symptoms and Remedies


Allergies area a common phenomenon that much of the population unfortunately experiences. The typical allergies include hay, mold, seasonal allergies that are caused by rag weed, pollen and much more. However, there are some instances where people may have an allergic reaction to other things such as cellphones, tea, and water! To understand how this happens, it is important that you first understand exactly what an allergic reaction is.

An allergic reaction is when the body’s immune system overreacts to a harmless substance. It recognizes the allergen as an invader and produces antibodies to the cells. Once the antibodies reach the cells there is a chemical release to the body that can affect the nose, lungs, throat, and stomach as well as other parts of the body.

In this article, we will discuss uncommon allergies, the symptoms that you need to keep an eye out for and what you should do in case you experience these symptoms. Furthermore, we discuss the four types of allergic reactions so that you have the tools necessary to judge whether or not your allergic reaction warrants immediate healthcare.

Four Types of Allergic Reactions

Type I – Anaphylactic

Anaphylactic reactions are the most severe types of reactions. They require medical attention as symptoms of difficulty breathing can escalate to respiratory failure and even death. The most common allergens to cause this type of reaction are pollens, animal dander, dust mites and some food products.

Type II – Cytotoxic

The antibodies involved with this reaction activate a component of the immune system called the complement system. This system aides in the destruction of pathogen, however within this reaction it ends up damaging important cells. This is associated with hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells), thrombocytopenia (low platelets) and neutropenia (low white blood cells).

Type III – Immunocomplex

This reaction is brought on by an antibody-antigen complex. It can be found with lupus, serum sickness and arthus. This reaction, mainly relating to Arthus, can be found in experimental settings where antigen injections are given.

Type IV – Cell-mediated

Delayed reactions are associated with Type IV reactions. They occur anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after exposure to the allergen. These allergens can be something small as a skin sensitivity or it can be extreme involving long-term infections, like tuberculosis or fungal infections.

Common Allergies

Society is well versed on common allergies. Examples are pollen, peanuts, shellfish, bee stings, and medications like penicillin just to name a few. We are conditioned to be aware of these common allergies all the time from snack time in school to answering doctors’ questions in the emergency department.

However, there are so many uncommon allergies that many people may not only realize they are allergic to but that they can even be an allergen at all. Their reactions range between all types of reactions as well, so it is imperative that we learn as much as we can about these uncommon allergens.

Uncommon Allergies

Below we have listed some uncommon allergies that a small percent of the population has experienced. If you believe you may be having an allergic reaction, it is best to seek immediate guidance by a health professional to ensure that you are okay.

Furthermore, take the steps necessary to prevent it from happening again. Prevention is just as important as treatment, if not more, to ensure your welfare and for you to stay in good health.

Cell Phones

The outer materials of cell phones are made of metal, usually nickel or cobalt. People that have a sensitivity to these metals may experience a reaction of a rash on the face, ears, or hands. There is also a chance of irritation to the eyes if they are touched after handling the phone.

The only way to avoid an allergic reaction to a cellphone is for the phone to be placed in a case that does not contain these types of metals. That way, you will not come into contact with the metal in question.

Tea

Most reactions to tea are due to the scents and flavors. These reactions can cause coughing and sneezing, therefore creating more of an irritation rather than a real allergy. However, on occasion people can develop an allergy to plants like herbs and spices, thus having a reaction to herbal teas.

Drinking these teas with a known allergy could cause symptoms such as:

  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Runny nose

It is found that these teas, especially chamomile, have similar proteins as ragweed. So, if there is a known allergy to hay fever then herbal teas should be avoided as well.

Jewelry

Fashion jewelry is always a great accessory, however, to keep costs down manufacturers use cheaper metals like nickel and copper with their products. They then coat the jewelry with a thin layer of silver or gold for appearance. Once this layer wears down it exposes these metals to your skin and can cause reactions.

These reactions are usually minimal skin irritation from redness, rashes, and itchiness. Occasionally they could progress to painful blisters. Most common reaction people notice is a discoloration of their skin, either green or black marks. These reactions are harmless and usually just an inconvenience. This happens due the metals oxidizing with the skin.

There are some precautions that can be taken to avoid these reactions.

  • Using clear nail polish to add an additional layer of protection on the jewelry will help.
  • Avoid wearing the jewelry when washing hands or showering will eliminate water exposure to the metals which can advance the process of deterioration.
  • The easiest way is to avoid purchasing low-quality products. The following links are good examples of how to obtain good quality jewelry. Make sure your bracelets and rings are high quality, and that they’re created using real silver.

Raw Produce

Apples, peaches, tomatoes, celery, onions, and potatoes are a few examples of some produce that people can be allergic to. There is a cross-reaction between pollen and grasses that can cause this allergy to create a reaction of inflammation and itchiness, especially within the mouth.

A lot of people believe that it is due to fertilization processes, however it is actually something within the food itself that causes the reaction. Unfortunately, it is not something that can be washed off, but more than likely if the produce is cooked, they may be able to be consumed without symptoms.

Cold and Hot Temperatures

This reaction is probably among some of the rarest that can occur. It happens when there is an extreme change in temperature. The body responds with an inflammatory response and can cause hives.

In extreme circumstances someone may even have loss of consciousness. To avoid this allergy cautionary measures should be taken when going from indoors to outdoors and vice versa.

Alcohol

A component found in red wines and dark beer is the cause of most allergens to alcohol. Some believe they just have a sensitivity but in fact it is the sulfites in these drinks that can cause itchy eyes and nasal congestion.

Some other allergens could be fruit and nuts in some mixers and gluten in some other beer. If there is a known allergen, then these beverages should be avoided.

Water

In 2011 there were less than a hundred cases of water allergies reported. This allergen can cause redness, burning and hives upon contact. It can be the most difficult to maintain as elements such as rain and snow could cause a reaction.

Other factors, such as sweat and tears, even taking a shower can cause an inflammatory response. In severe cases drinking water can cause difficulty breathing and swallowing. Unfortunately, there is no cure and due to the rarity of the allergen doctors have difficulty continuing clinical studies.

Tattoo

Tattoos are becoming more and more popular as they become more acceptable among society. Any foreign object put in or on a body permanently has the risk of reaction, this applies to tattoo ink. No ink can ever be guaranteed to be allergen free. In fact, the most common ink to cause problems is the red dyed ink. This can cause redness, itching, and severe swelling.

It is always recommended, even if there is no known allergy, to choose a clean and reputable tattoo shop that uses proper sterilization techniques. Before having the full design of the tattoo done, especially if colored ink is being used, schedule a small test area to be tattooed the day before to eliminate any risks of a full reaction.

Hair Dye

Hair dye reactions are due to the chemicals used in the products. Unfortunately, almost all dyes contain the same chemicals. If there are known allergies, it is recommended to schedule a day to do a small test beforehand.

It is a small chance that an allergic reaction could occur since this allergy only affects 1 in every 250,000 people, but this reaction would fall in the Type I category of anaphylactic reactions. Those that have reported an allergy to hair dye has had severe facial swelling and near-death experiences.

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