Water, Sex, and Other Crazy Things People Can Actually Be Allergic To

Some people are allergic to avocados. Others, to grass, or cats, or latex. Chances are, you’ve met at least one person with some type of allergy, if you don’t have any yourself. It’s not very likely you know anyone with the world’s weirdest allergies, though, such as water or exercise.

Your body’s immune system has a strange way of protecting you from perceived dangers. In some rare cases, these common household items and other natural substances can actually become life-threatening.

1. Wood

Man cutting wood with axe

For some people, skin rashes can develop. | LeonidKos/iStock/Getty Images

Though it’s rare, some people develop serious skin rashes when they come into contact with one or more types of wood. Whether solid or dust, touching wood can make a person’s skin look like they’ve been burned.

Next: Some people have to be careful when they go outside.

2. The sun


Some people have to avoid sun for a serious reason. | Jeka1984/iStock/Getty Images

An allergy related to sunlight, called photosensitivity, can cause some people to develop a rash after going outside during the day. Scientists don’t know what causes the immune response, but skin that comes into contact with sunlight causes the body to start attacking itself.

Next: Some people fear these pests for a pretty unique reason.

3. Cockroaches

cockroach on the wooden floor

No ones likes these bugs, but some people are allergic to them. | Wi699/iStock/Getty Images

If you think you hate cockroaches now, imagine being allergic to them. The feces, saliva, and body parts of cockroaches release chemicals that can trigger allergy symptoms in some people — including nasal congestion, coughing, and skin rashes.

Next: Some people get a rash when using their cell phone, for a pretty weird reason.

4. Nickels

Loose change

This one is a particularly strange allergy. | Michail_Petrov-96/iStock/Getty Images

Some people break out in skin rashes if they touch a nickel when accepting change from a cashier. The mineral nickel is also present in many things you come into contact with every day, like jewelry, cell phones, and the zipper on your jacket or jeans.

Next: A certain food allergy could keep you away from this fun game.

5. Beanbags

Boy on bean bag

Soybeans are often what fills beanbags. | Ljupco/iStock/Getty Images

If you have a soybean allergy, you might have an allergic reaction when playing with beanbags made with dried soybeans. Many beanbag “beans” are made from non-edible materials, so it’s fairly easy to avoid this trigger if you’re allergic.

Next: Some women’s menstrual cycles have worse symptoms than others.

6. Female hormones

Woman smiling

This is a scary allergy, if there ever was one. | Aleksander Kaczmarek/iStock/Getty Images

Some women live with an extremely rare skin condition called autoimmune progesterone dermatitis, which flares up during a certain point of their menstrual cycle. Doctors believe the rash that develops is an autoimmune response to the female hormone progesterone.

Next: If you have this allergy, you might also have a good excuse to move somewhere warmer.

7. Cold

Ice cubes

Even ice cube could cause a reaction. | PhonlamaiPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

You might hate going out in the cold, but there are some people who have a legitimate allergic reaction when they do it. Anything from cold water or food to cold weather can cause hives, swelling, and in some cases, anaphylaxis and swelling of the throat.

Next: These individuals have to involuntarily go vegetarian.

8. Beef


Red meat can cause health problems. | Venuestock/iStock/Getty Images

Eating too much red meat can cause health problems for most people. But for some, even a little taste can be life-threatening. The weirdest thing about a red meat allergy is how most people contract it: a specific type of tick bite.

Next: Many people have food allergies, but this one severely limits your meal options.

9. All food

Fork and knife cross on a empty plate,

As this allergy proves, the body is a strange system. | Koosen/iStock/Getty Images

There have been more than one reported cases of food allergies beyond what could be considered “normal.” One teenager, for example, became allergic to the proteins present in all food. He had to start receiving all his nutrition through a feeding tube.

Next: These people have a better excuse for not working out than you do.

10. Exercise

Women exercising

Exercise doesn’t always feel good. | Bojan89/iStock/Getty Images

Some people really do have severe allergic reactions when they exert energy through exercise. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is a rare condition that can cause a vast range of symptoms, from abdominal cramps to hives and wheezing following periods of physical activity.

Next: There’s something fishy about this peculiar allergy.

11. The smell of fish

Grilled red fish steaks salmon on the grill pan

The scent of fish may set off some people’s allergies. | Malyugin/iStock/Getty Images

You’ve heard of people being allergic to eating seafood, but some people’s allergies are so severe they can’t even afford to smell the fish they’re allergic to. Some allergies that are less severe only cause reactions when someone touches fish without eating it.

Next: Imagine breaking out in hives every time you tried taking a shower.

12. Water

Waterfall at brazil

This allergy is extremely rare. | Vitormarigo/iStock/Getty Images

Water allergies are extremely rare — only 100 reported cases have ever been documented. These individuals break out in hives when they come into contact with water, and doctors aren’t quite sure why. It’s possible that another chemical present in water in small amounts could cause the reaction.

Next: Is the “kiss of death” a real thing?

13. Kissing

Couple kissing in bed

This would be a sad allergy to have. | Oneinchpunch/iStock/Getty Images

It’s also possible to be allergic to other people’s saliva — a condition that most commonly occurs if that saliva contains a chemical you’re allergic to. If you kiss someone who has recently eaten a food or taken a medication you’re allergic to, it could cause an adverse reaction.

Next: Kissing isn’t the only intimate act that can cause an allergic reaction.

14. Sex

Male hands opening condom

Yes, some people are actually allergic to sex. | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Some men and women are actually allergic to sex — semen, specifically. Proteins found in sperm can result in hives, swelling, burning, or itching after exposure. Engaging in unprotected sex increases your risk of having an allergic reaction if you’re sensitive to these proteins.

Next: Red, itchy eyes could mean you’re allergic to something completely unexpected.

15. Saline solution

Contact Lenses

Be mindful contact wearers! | Zhekos/iStock/Getty Images

Do your eyes burn and itch after putting in your contacts? A visit to your eye doctor might reveal it’s not your contacts that are causing you discomfort, but the saline solution you’re soaking them in. There could be a particular chemical compound in your chosen brand of solution your body refuses to tolerate.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!