8 Unusual Allergies.

1 treatment option for Unusual AllergiesDo you Suffer from Unusual Allergies?

This is the season for allergies. Every year I feel compelled to remind you that you have some options with allergies.  The OTC Zyrtec, Allegra, etc do relieve symptoms.  For some people, they prefer to not take OTC medications, so they come to RiverWest Acupuncture and we work with them around seasonal allergies from pollens, pets etc, as well as food allergies.  But for our blog this month, I decided to look at 8 of the most unusual allergies that I have either heard about or treated.

Read on to Learn about 8 Unusual Allergies.

Some we have treated with Acupuncture and herbs, some we have never seenThese unusual allergies might actually make you appreciate your specific variety.


There is a very rare allergy called vibratory urticarial. Running, jackhammers, lawn mowers, even bumpy bus rides can cause a person to break out in hives, develop a rash or a headache, or feel fatigued. Its caused by a mutation on a gene called ADGRE2. Here’s what the researchers think is going on. The ADGRE2 gene acts as the blueprints for the body to create ADGRE2 protein.  ADGRE2 is present on the surface of many of the cells that regulate the immune system. If the gene is normal, the proteins can fit neatly into their designated spots on the cell membranes. But the mutation causes the ADGRE2 protein to be slightly less structurally stable. When vibrations hit the body, they break off part of this protein, causing those immune cells to act as though there’s something harmful in the body and to produce an immune response.

Cell phones

Doctors are seeing an increase in the number of “cellphone rashes.”  The symptoms are itchy red bumps or blisters along the jaw, cheek and ear.  It’s called a cell phone allergy.   It’s actually a reaction to the nickel that is used in the cell phone buttons, headsets and the frame of the LCD screen.    There are also people who are allergic to the electromagnetic emissions from cellphones.


Officially known as Cholinergic Urticaria.  It’s a hypersensitive response in the skin as a result of the body increasing in temperature, either from internal or external forces, or just before the release of sweat.   The symptom is that one itches when you get hot or exercise.  The getting hot can be caused by taking a hot shower or bath, stress, eating spicy foods, or exercising that increases the body temperature.


You might no be so are allergic to the leather.  But, you could be allergic to the chemicals used in the leather tanning process.  They symptoms are a poison-ivy type of rash on the part of your body that comes into contact with the leather.


Seems impossible, but it’s true.  It’s very rare, about 40 people worldwide have been diagnosed.  It qualifies for the list of VERY unusual allergies in my opinion.  Its official name is aqua genic urticarial.  The symptoms are that contact with water makes the skin break out in hives and welts that are painful.


This is a rare allergy to men’s seminal fluid.  Official name is human seminal plasma hypersensitivity.   It’s most common in women, but there have been a few cases of men who experience symptoms.  Symptoms include burning sensations, welts and rashes, and can often be misdiagnosed as an STD. (Sexually Transmitted Disease)


It’s estimated that 2 – 5% of the population is sensitive to pressure and touch.  This allergy is officially known as dermatographia.  For people with severe cases, a slight touch can trigger an allergic reaction that creates a raised itchy rash.  Because word or designs can easily be scratched on the skin, it’s often referred to as the “skin writing disease.”


Cold uticaria causes skin to turn red, swell, itch and develop hives, when it’s exposed to cold temperatures.   Walking through the frozen food section, can cause discomfort.   However, swimming in cold water can cause a severe reaction leading to fainting, shock or even death.

One of my most interesting cases of unusual allergies

One of my more interesting cases around allergies involved a woman who had just flown in from England to visit a friend of mine.  She had eaten something on the plane and was having a severe asthma/allergy attack, but didn’t want to go to the hospital because she had a chronic asthma condition.  My friend brought her in to see me.  I evaluated her and determined her risk was low enough that I could treat her, rather than insisting she go to the ER.  I did testing and found that allergy to be chicken/egg.  She had eaten chicken on the plane, although she had never had a problem before with chicken before.

After more conversation and discovery, I found out that just before she came, she had inadvertently killed a little baby chick that she was raising and she was very sad and upset about it.   In her treatment, I cleared both the physical aspect and the emotional component of the allergy to chicken, which is also egg.

Her asthma relief was such that she didn’t have to go to the hospital.  As is often true, we can’t just look at the physical component, we must consider the emotional aspect as well.


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