The Strangest Things That Cause Uncommon Allergies

It seems like we all know people allergic to insect stings, nuts, or mold, but other allergies are more unusual, and even some common allergies can be triggered by allergens from surprising sources. Read on to find out some uncommon allergies as well as a few odd things that may be causing your allergies to act up.


Because water is such a huge aspect of our lives, and even makes up a large portion of the human body, it seems shocking to many people that a person can be allergic to water, but aquagenic urticaria, a water allergy, does occur in rare cases. Allergy sufferers must avoid bathing in or drinking water, as well as certain foods. Being allergic to water and having a reaction can include symptoms like hives, redness and itching of the skin.


No, people aren’t allergic to cell phones, laptops, or tablets themselves, but some of the components of these devices can trigger reactions in some individuals. Nickel is a common allergen that is also commonly found in electronics, but other materials like cobalt can also provoke allergic reactions in some people. Fortunately, allergic reactions from these devices can be avoided by simply using a protective case.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic drinks can contain a number of possible allergens. For one, in rare cases individuals can be allergic to alcohol itself. However, more commonly allergic reactions are due to another ingredient in the beverage. Many people are allergic to sulfites, which are commonly found in red wine and dark beer, while those with gluten allergies or intolerances may have reactions triggered by the hops present in beer. Fruit or nut allergies can be triggered by various cocktail ingredients and vodka may cause problems for people with potato allergies.

Cold or Heat

It sounds strange, but exposure to cold or heat can induce allergic reactions in some people. For people with cold urticaria, sudden exposure to extreme cold can be dangerous and even the decreased body temperature associated with getting or staying wet can lead to an allergic reaction. There is also cholinergic urticaria which is often described as an allergy to heat, sweat, exercise or stress, but is really an allergy to the increase in body heat associated with those things. Even spicy food or a hot bath can trigger cholinergic urticaria. The primary symptom of reactions to either of these allergens is hives.


This may sound like a convenient excuse for those of us who are less athletically inclined, but exercise can really cause allergic reactions, and for more reasons than simply because outdoor workouts can lead to exposure to pollen allergens. For some people simply exercising, or exercising after eating particular foods, can trigger anaphylaxis. For those that suffer from cholinergic urticaria, which we discussed earlier, the elevated body temperature resulting from working out can lead to an allergic reaction.

Produce and Other Plant Products

People with allergies to certain grasses or pollens may be surprised to find themselves also reacting to certain types of produce, such as apples, peaches, bananas, melons, tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, peanuts and hazelnuts, or to herbs, spices, essential oils, or teas, particularly chamomile tea. This is because these products are commonly cross reactive with common pollen and grass allergens, meaning that the proteins in these foods are similar enough to the other allergen that the body sees them both as the allergen. Unfortunately, the allergen is the food itself, so washing plant products before consumption won’t help you to avoid reactions, but many types of produce can still be safely consumed by allergy sufferers if it is cooked.


Suffering from allergies to dogs and cats is common, but think twice before choosing a snake or lizard as an alternative companion, because reptiles can cause similar allergic reactions as well. For some people, the proteins in reptiles’ skin can cause allergic reactions much like those caused by fluffier pets, including symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, and asthma.

Get Allergy Relief

Whether you have an odd allergy like one of the above or a very common allergy, like nuts, mold, or latex, getting allergy relief is essential for keeping healthy and improving your quality of life. That’s why, regardless of the commonness or severity of your allergy, it’s imperative to have it treated by an allergy specialist like Dr. Mayank Shukla. Dr. Shukla is a New York based allergy and respiratory specialist. Because of his passion for helping all people live their best life despite their uncommon allergies, Dr. Shukla is happy to provide allergy treatment and care to both adults and children. Whether you suffer from a severe allergy or simply want an allergy test to find out if you have an allergy, contact our office today to schedule your appointment.

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