5 Rare & Surprising Allergies (Slideshow)


What is innocuous for most can be deadly for some. Sure, people with peanut allergies just need to avoid eating it, and people with cat allergies probably shouldn’t have a feline friend. But what if the very thing you are allergic to is something that pretty much everyone else on the planet needs to survive? Click through to check out some of the most unusual allergies on the planet.


1. The Sun.

Sure, many people will get a sunburn after they spend a summer day at the beach sans sunscreen, but for people with one of the handful of different allergies to the sun, it’s a whole other animal. Itchy red rashes and hives are common, and headaches and blisters aren’t unheard of. One rare, genetic condition is porphyria, known as the “Vampire Disease,” where exposure to the sun can actually cause paralysis and psychosis.


2. Shoes.

How could someone possibly be allergic to shoes? Well, you aren’t, technically, you’re allergic to particular materials used in many shoes. Just as people with nickel allergies develop rashes from costume jewelry, people allergic to leather, glue, resin, or whatever else, suffer cracked, itchy, painful skin. Most people with shoe contact dermatitis find particular brands that work for them, or, at the very least, never go without socks.


3. Exercise.

For most people, it’s probably an excuse to not hit the gym, but for a handful of people across the planet, working out can actually trigger hives, wheezing, flushed skin, nausea, or anaphylactic shock. Often, this allergy goes hand-in-hand with a certain food allergy. Eating peanuts two hours before working out, for instance, can cause serious damage, even if the person isn’t normally allergic to peanuts. Medicine can help many people with the condition.


4. Cold Weather.

Many people can’t stand winter, but a select few shouldn’t stand it at all. People with cold urticaria come down with hives, redness, itching and swelling after exposure to cold temperatures. In the worst case scenario, very often when a person with the allergy swims in very cold water, it can even lead to shock, fainting, brain damage and death. Like many rare allergies, it’s likely that this one is under-diagnosed.


5. Water.

It’s hard to imagine a life without water. No bathing. No going outside in the rain. No swimming. Crying, and sometimes even sweating, is an unfortunate incident. People with the incredibly rare (though, one allergist suggests, wildly under-diagnosed) water allergy, aquagenic urticaria, have painful headaches and red welts when they come into contact with water.  But how, you might ask, can a human even survive with this condition? After all, our bodies are over half water. Well, the vast majority of sufferers only have problems when their skin touches water — so they can drink all they like, and their own body isn’t hazardous to them.

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Jennifer Manzi
Jennifer Manzi3 months ago

Yeah would suck major league to have these

Gray Maynard
Gray Maynard9 months ago

very nice indeede

Janis K.
Janis K.11 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Travis Franciss
Travis Francissabout a year ago


Borg Drone
Borg Drone1 years ago


Colleen W.
Colleen W.1 years ago

Allergic to water?????

Aleisha D.
Aleisha D.1 years ago

Wow! Really opens my eyes - I can't believe how many of these things I take for granted.

Petalia Green
Petalia Green1 years ago

Always good to disseminate information about the rarer yet not uncommon conditions. Ta.

Andrew Pawley
Past Member 1 years ago

Hmmm... not sure about this.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson2 years ago

my son and niece are allergic to carrots... his pediatrician thinks its actually an intolerance to beta carotene, but carrots cause the worst issues. he does okay with most other orange/red/yellow foods.