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Computer allergy and 5 unusual allergies that will surprise you

Tracy Woolrich's picture
Computer Allergy

The environment can be a scary place for some people. I am not talking hallowween scary. I am talking about going to the emergency room type of scarey. An allergic reaction can cause an individual to react with symtoms as benign as watery eyes or a rash. However, it could be as serious as difficulty in breathing and anaphalytic shock.

Allergies are caused when the immune system highly reacts to a generally harmless stimulus. This could be a reaction to something ingested, inhaled, touched or even absorbed through the skin. Your immune system, thinking your body is under attack, launches an assault of histamines as protection. It is the body’s reaction to these histamines that cause the symptoms commonly thought of as an allergic reaction.

When it comes to allergies, most people think of things like dust, mold, milk, soy and peanuts. But there are allergies that are much more difficult to diagnose. These types of allergies are often baffling. I know this, as it took over two years to find out I have developed an allergy to salicylates. It started out as a rash and hives and eventually became more worrisome with facial and throat swelling with difficulty swallowing and breathing. It became obvious that I would not be able to take aspirin anymore as that is the main ingredient. What was less obvious however was that I had to monitor my ingestion of strawberries, tomatoes, mushrooms, almonds and peppermints. I can eat these things however I cannot overload myself with too many offending foods. Also, I have to read the labels on shampoos, lotions and cosmetics. Salicylic acid is a common ingredient. Therefore, in reality I can say that I am allergic to shampoo. What? If you think that is bizarre, look at what some people are allergic to.


What? No really. It is called Aquagenic urticaria and is characterized by itchy white or red hives. The temperature of the water does not affect the occurrence. It affects women primarily and can affect portions or the entire body. Benadryl does not seem to help however there are studies that show that the pain relieving cream capsaicin may help. The cause is unknown.


Okay. This is a stretch. It is not really money but what coins are made of that can cause allergic reactions. It is the metal, specifically nickel that can cause allergies. This type of metal is used in coins, zippers, buckles, jewelry and watches. It can cause itchy hives and watery blisters. Women are more apt to have this allergy than men and it is cumulative, In other words it may be caused by extensive exposure such as working with metals or having numerous body piercings. My father had this allergy and could not wear metal banded watches. Cold wet compresses, antihistamines and steroid creams may help with the symptoms.


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This allergy is felt to be due to the exposure to electromagnetic fields in hypersensitive individuals. Is could also be due to emissions from the inner workings of the computer and monitor such as flame retardants and plastic components. Symptoms are increased nasal congestion and headaches. Reducing exposure and antihistamines may help.


Skin contact dermatitis from shoes is actually fairly common. Symptoms are hives and a red itchy rash. It occurs after contact with chemicals used in the manufacturing of the shoes. The offensive chemicals include rubber cement, resins, glues and chemicals used in tanning hides. As you wear the shoes and sweat the allergic reactions can get worse. Wearing absorbent socks and foot powder may help.


Ok, I have to admit it. I have this allergy. It stems from a latex and rubber allergy. Since most underwear has these offenders in the waistbands it is a common allergy. Also in some hypersensitive individuals, there is a reaction to chemicals used in producing lycra and nylon. Symptoms are itchy welts and even watery blisters. Oral antihistamines and cortisone cream helps however wearing all cotton underwear without the offending agents is a better idea.


It is called solar urticaria or polymorphic light eruptions, and can cause painful hives and welts. It is more common in Native Americans and Caucasians. It is an inherited sensitivity. It can be due to a chemical reaction to cosmetics or lotions as well as certain medications that cause sun sensitivity. Again, antihistamines and steroid creams may help.

Take away message

In order to reduce symptoms, individuals need to tune into their bodies and be aware of how they react to their environment. Keep a diary of what you eat, wear and are exposed to when you have symptoms. Look for patterns. See an allergist and get skin tested if in doubt. Symptoms can escalate into a serious event. No pun intended, however allergies are nothing to sneeze at.

Reference: NIH Rare Diseases, Mayo Clinic



Water Allergies are also included among these rare and bizarre diseases: http://www.emaxhealth.com/11406/top-10-rare-and-bizarre-diseases-21st-century
Thank you Tamar. I will check it out!
Water allergy often relates to the dangerous chemicals the FDA allows to be present, such as chlorine. Numerous scientific studies report that chlorinated tap water is a skin irritant and can be associated with rashes like eczema. Chlorinated water can destroy polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E in the body while generating toxins capable of free radical damage (oxidation). This might explain why supplementation of the diet with essential fatty acids like flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage oil and antioxidants like vitamin E, selenium and others helps so many cases of eczema and dry skin. "Chlorinated water destroys much of the intestinal flora, the friendly bacteria that help in the digestion of food and which protects the body from harmful pathogens. These bacteria are also responsible for the manufacture of several important vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin K. It is not uncommon for chronic skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, seborrhea and eczema to clear up or to be significantly improved by switching to unchlorinated drinking water or filtered water. "Chlorine has been documented to aggravate asthma, especially in those children who make use of chlorinated swimming pools. Several studies also link chlorine and chlorinated by-products to a greater incidence of bladder, breast and bowel cancer as well as malignant melanoma. One study even links the use of chlorinated tap water to congenital cardiac anomalies, and another study claims chlorine is a possible cause for ADD and ADHD. Computer allergy is predominantly caused by dehydration. Working in a electromagnetic environment dehydrates us a lot faster than normal. Make sure you have a bottle of water at hand while working you PC and drinking from it regularly will alleviate most problems.
I agree with Hans de Rycke. The chlorination required to make municipal drinking water safe is not good for you. I don't drink tap water and even have a filter on my shower to help eliminate it there as well. Yuk Yuk Yuk!
Good thing I live in Armenia! Our tap is usually straight from mountain springs :P PS: bottled water IS tap water :P
The bottled water I drink is from North Carolina Springs and is SO good. Nothing like it I swear!
The longer I use my laptop, desktop, tv, landline phone I get increasing in ringing of my ears. I feel coated film on my face too. I get dizziness too and balance problem. It all started with using a cell phone which I stopped using. I was getting spin dizzy with my smart cell phone. I had WiFi also in my apartment for computers, and printers. I used to have Linksys blue and black router with no problem till they told me they have a more upgraded routers which is all silver in color with no antennas. My landlord also switch light bulbs from incandescent to the CFL coily bulbs which was pretty close to my head my floor lamp. Anyway, I wish they made computers with very low emissions of elecromagnetic fields, and not use those types of plastics and flame retardants. I am also multichemical sensitive to perfumes, perfumy soaps and detergents, newspaper, magazine paper and printing paper, and also my mail. I have to wear face masks to read, and if I print out an article I have to put the pages inside a cello clear plastic bag to read. Money is more concern than people's health.