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Top 10 Allergies That Actually Exist

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by Briana Lawrence

Ah-choo! Sorry, it’s that time of year. From money, to vibrations, to the smell of fish, these allergies are downright unfair. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Allergies That Actually Exist.

Special thanks to our user Spideyfan-0913 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Bizarre+Allergies+That+Actually+Exist%21.


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Script written by Briana Lawrence

Top 10 Allergies That Actually Exist

Ah-choo! Sorry, it’s that time of year. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Allergies That Actually Exist!
For this list, while many people are used to sneezing their way through the pollen of spring, we’ll actually be looking at things you probably wouldn’t expect people to be allergic to. We suggest you get the antihistamine ready.

#10: Money

Don’t dive into that pit of coins just yet, it may leave you with a nasty rash... among under things. This is technically a case of being allergic to nickel or silver rather than the notion or construct of currency. But, all the same it's hard to imagine suffering through rashes or blisters simply because you needed some extra change. Worst of all, symptoms may take up to 48 hours to set in. Fortunately, there are over-the-counter solutions to alleviate any cases of itchy or dry skin, but perhaps the best solution is to rely on your friends: credit or debit.

#9: Vibrations

Hopefully, you’re not moving around too fast for this one. Vibratory angioedema is a reaction to vibrations of all things, and occurs when the skin is exposed to a rapidly moving object. Hives can appear on the skin within minutes, but fortunately, the redness and itchiness tends to go away within an hour – although it's a very painful hour. This rare allergy can be inherited, or can be due to prolonged exposure to vibrations: for example, operating machinery, or something as simple as a bumpy car ride or even clapping your hands.

#8: Fish / Fish Smell

Proper office etiquette has taught us to NEVER bring leftover fish for lunch. No one wants to smell it being warmed up in the microwave, but imagine taking a whiff of a flounder and actually wheezing, losing your breath, or getting rashes all over your skin. Some people are so allergic to fish that just the smell will do this to them. This is because when we’re smelling something, we’re actually taking in tiny particles of it through our noses... so be more mindful about what you bring in for lunch.

#7: Cold

We all have that friend who complains about being too cold. They may even joke about potentially being allergic to the frosty weather... but maybe they’re actually telling the truth? Let’s talk about cold urticaria, which is the term used for an allergic reaction to, well, the cold. This can be from the weather, or from a dip in a nice, cold pool on a summer day. This can lead to the typical allergic reactions, however, severe cases can lead to fainting and even death! Likewise, there’s also heat urticaria to worry about, which can occur when your body increases in temperature.

#6: Cellphones

Don’t panic, it’s not actually a sign that you need to put the phone down... well, kinda. What’s known as “mobile phone dermatitis” is actually an allergic reaction to nickel, chromium or cobalt. The metal is used in the buttons, screens, and headsets of your phone, so there are cases where too much exposure has led to “cellphone rashes” -- red bumps along the areas of use, namely your jawline, cheek, and ear. If it’s not one of those that’s causing it, there’s a chance that it’s from the electromagnetic emissions your phone gives off, though this is not recognized as a medical condition.

#5: Exercise

No, it’s not an excuse to ignore that New Year’s Resolution - there are a small amount of people in the world who are, legitimately, allergic to exercise. Although, it's a bit more complicated than that. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis can be related to what you eat or what medication you take before you decide to work out. That, combined with physical activity, can lead to a cluster of annoying reactions like hives and swelling, or in the worst case scenarios: vomiting, choking, and death. This worsens if they also have heat urticaria, because that increase in body temperature can make that flare up, too.

#4: Touch

The act of touching someone is definitely something we take for granted. Even stopping well before the sexual realm, touch – like a hand on the shoulders – adds a level of intimacy and personal bonding to our interactions. But for those with dermatographia, the pressure from those simple touches can result in raised, itchy red rashes, so much so that some have taken to calling it “skin writing disease.” Why? Because some are so sensitive to touch that they can trace their finger along their skin in different patterns thatwill become visible and stay raised for about a half hour.

#3: Semen

You could call this an allergy to sex, but that wouldn't be exactly accurate. However, since sex often results in the arrival of semen, perhaps that's splitting hairs. Regardless, this allergy can lead to a misdiagnosis where it’s assumed that those rashes, welts, andthat uncomfortable burning sensation is the work of a STD when, in reality, it may be human seminal plasma hypersensitivity. Pro tip: if you start to experience the symptoms within minutes of initimate activities... it’s probably a semen allergy. Especially if you're the only one in the bed.

#2: Sunlight

It seems unlikely, and plays into stereotypes involving vampires, Goths, heartbroken teens, or dedicated gamers, but an allergy to sunlight is a genuine thing. Known in medical circles as “solar urticaria”, it causes red, itchy skin, in an allergic response to the sun, or in extreme cases even certain kinds of light bulbs. Worse still, major reactions can trigger headaches, vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, or even heart attacks and strokes. And despite what you might expect, clothing may not prevent symptoms, although for the most part only exposed skin is affected.

Before we get to our number one pick, let’s write a prescription for these honorable mentions:




#1: Water

Considering how much we’re exposed to water, and the fact that about 60% of our bodies are made up of the stuff, this rare condition is the most unbelievable one on our list. Though it’s not considered a true allergy by scientists, those who suffer from aquagenic urticaria still experience painful hives and welts when they come in contact with water, whether it’s taking that morning shower, or for some, it’s drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day that’ll cause the throat to swell up. In the most extreme cases, the bodily fluids we produce like blood, sweat, and tears can lead to nasty rashes and breakouts.


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