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5 Unusual Allergies That Are 100% Real

Updated on November 14, 2017
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Rebecca is a certified Medical Assistant fascinated with the strange and unusual.

The Allergy and Asthma Network defines an allergy as anything the immune system identifies as harmful to the body, even if the particle is not actually harmful. A particle enters the body, and the body reacts by trying to forcefully remove it, which causes the allergic reaction. If the body learns to identify the particle, the allergy will dissipate. However, there are extreme cases where the body reacts so severely that the sufferer could sustain permanent damage or death. While there are a growing number of existing allergens on record, there are some that are far stranger than others.


Henna is a delightful substance used for tattooing for generations. The practice began on the Eurasian land mass and spread around the world. The allergy to the temporary tattoos, however, is a recent problem. As demand for henna increases, manufacturers add unnatural products to preserve the henna both during transport to the tattoo facility and after it has been inserted onto the skin. These after-market products added to an otherwise all-natural element are causing serious allergic reactions.

According to the Huffington Post, henna is derived from a shrub. The leaves are dried and ground into the powder that creates the henna tattoos. In fact, these leaves have been proven to help heal some skin conditions. This plant is typically good for the human body, yet, a surprising number of people have an adverse reaction due to the preservation process.


Soil brings life to all land-dwelling beings, and a few that live in the ocean as well. It supports food, oxygen, shelters, and anything else that contributes to the success of all living creatures. However, it is well documented that some people are allergic to this life source. As soil ferments naturally, it creates mold and mildew, which causes an allergic reaction for some people when it is ingested. The spores break away and float through the air, reacting negatively with the body's immune system.

The Farmer's Almanac provides tips on reducing white mold on plants, which is a known cause of allergic reactions. The plant will live longer, and the human will find some relief after white mold is removed from the environment.



This amazing by-product of sheep's wool causes nothing but irritation for a select few. Lanolin is the natural oil secreted by a sheep's body, and it is so comforting that it is often found in beauty products. However, some people present with rashes, cracked skin, and sores after using products that include lanolin. The same people have to skip the cozy feel of wool sweaters, and anything made from a sheep's coat. It is not possible to remove all the lanolin from wool, so a sufferer must avoid the fabric completely. Luckily, there are beauty products on the market that use substitutions for lanolin, including coconut oil or cocoa butter.


Food allergies are common, but an allergy to meat often takes people by surprise. Some individuals cannot eat any type of meat for fear of developing hives, rashes, anaphylaxis, headaches, or nausea. Further, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) reports that a protein allergy could stop some people from eating protein completely.

The ACAAI has discovered that the Lone Star tick helps spread the protein allergy. After the human is bit by this tick, a carbohydrate called alpha-gal goes into overdrive and begins to reject protein-rich foods.


Some people simply don't like to be touched, while others are literally allergic to human contact. The condition is known as dermatographia, which the Mayo Clinic reports is more commonly known as skin writing. This allergy occurs when the skin is lightly touched or scratched, and is short-lived. The symptoms include a raised surface around the scratch, hives, itching and inflammation. The Mayo Clinic reports that the cause is unknown, but it can be triggered by factors such as emotional stress, infections, or certain medications.

Understanding Why the Body Develops Allergies


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