If you've ever joked that you're allergic to working out while huffing and puffing through a class at the gym, you're in luck: Both sweat and exercise are among a number of strange and unusual allergies that people actually have.

An allergic reaction happens when our immune system decides that some neutral substance, called an allergen, is actually harmful. As we inhale, swallow, touch, or inject, we take in allergens and our immune system responds by attacking.

Most of us are likely allergic to some degree to dust and pollen, but some have unusual allergies that few share.

Among them:

  • Cold
  • Hot
  • Estrogen
  • Water 
  • Chocolate (THE HORROR!)

There are more, too.

You can be allergic to pressure on your skin, a condition known as "dermatographic urticaria," in which the skin becomes raised and inflamed when stroked, scratched, rubbed, and sometimes even slapped.

You could be allergic to sex, which, in my opinion, is way worse than chocolate. Some women are actually allergic to semen, which brings burning in or around the genitals after sex, as well as swelling and itching.

Ouch.

You could even be allergic to your cell phone. Or at least the nickel in it.

Be thankful you aren't.

Do you have any odd allergies?  Heard of any you want to share?

 

Image via Darwin Bell/Flickr