The top eight allergens that cause the most allergic reactions are eggs, milk, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish; but did you know that there are other severe allergies that affect a small percentage of people? Certain people have allergic reactions to everyday activities. While allergy testing is accurate most of the time, the tests can’t detect every single allergy. So these allergies often go unnoticed.
NY Allergy & Sinus Centers is here to bring awareness to rare allergies. Here are 5 uncommon but completely real allergies.
Sun Allergy (Photosensitivity)
A sun allergy is an immune system reaction to sunlight. Symptoms usually involve an itchy red rash. Solar urticaria also accompanies this allergy. These are hives appearing on uncovered skin within minutes of exposure to sunlight. Sun allergy can be hereditary, although there is no real evidence why some people develop this allergy.
A common type of sun allergy is polymorphous light eruption (PMLE). It is the second most common sun-related skin problem seen by doctors, after common sunburn. Symptoms occur most during spring and summer months and disappear in winter. However, the rash often returns more severe the following year.
Water Allergy (Aquagenic Urticaria)
A water allergy, also known as aquagenic urticaria, is an itchy skin reaction resulting from contact with water. This condition results in hives all over the skin. Symptoms generally fade within an hour of leaving the water. There is little known about what causes this condition, but new treatments have been developed. There are creams available that serve as a barrier between water and the skin.
In rare cases, anaphylaxis is brought on by exercise or other physical activity. Sometimes a combination of exercise and another factor can cause exercise-induced anaphylaxis. For example, exercising after eating certain foods or taking medication. Alone, the exercise does no harm; but when paired with another activity, it causes a reaction.
Coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms. Hives can also appear during this allergic reaction. For those that suffer from this condition, the best way to minimize exercise-induced anaphylaxis is to avoid exercise altogether. Also, keep your epinephrine injection with you at all times.
Cold urticaria, also known as cold hives, is an allergic reaction to cold weather. Symptoms include redness, itching and swelling within minutes of exposure to the cold. Anaphylaxis can also be induced by this condition. Cold urticaria can develop at any age with no known cause.
Some prescribed creams, such as cyproheptadine, can be used to soothe symptoms. An Epipen or Auvi-Q can treat anaphylaxis. To avoid symptoms brought on by cold urticaria, wear protective clothing and stay away from cold swimming pools.
Sweat Allergy (Cholinergic Urticaria)
If you were planning to break a sweat tonight, you might reconsider after learning about this allergy. Some people develop an allergy to their own sweat, called cholinergic urticaria. This occurs when their body reacts to an antibody called immunoglobulin-G (IgG). Symptoms last about 30 minutes to an hour before they fade away. Most antihistamines will help soothe your symptoms.
If you believe you suffer from these allergic conditions, contact the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers. With access to the latest testing and treatment, we can help soothe your symptoms. Visit one of our seven locations throughout Manhattan and Queens for immediate relief.
Meet The Physician Collaborator
Dr. Marc Braunstein is a physician specializing in allergy and immunology. He is board certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine and The American Board of Pediatrics. He sees common cases of hay fever, asthma, food allergies, and drug allergies. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Braunstein by calling (718) 416-0207.