10 Strangest Allergies

1Allergic to own new-born child

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pemphigoid gestitionis is a skin condition in which blisters appear on the abdomen and, in the worst cases, over large regions of the body. Women can develop the condition during the second or third trimester and after giving birth. In the rarest of cases, children can be born with the rash.

Joanne Mackie, 28, developed agonizing blisters and an excruciating rash shortly after giving birth to son James. The painful welts across her back, legs, arms and chest caused her so much pain that she could not hold the newborn, and was forced to cover her arms in muslin cloth. After a few months the rash was gone but the mother-of-one's skin had been left scarred with dark patches where the blisters once were.

2Allergic to water

Known as aquagenic urticaria, this condition is said to only affect one out of every 23 million people in the world. Being allergic to water is extremely rare, and most that are allergic to it are confined to their homes. The person is hypersensitive to the ions found in non-distilled water, so most have to be very careful when drinking water, or they drink distilled water.

Teenager Ashleigh Morris can't go swimming, soak in a hot bath or enjoy a shower after a stressful day's work - she's allergic to water. Even sweating brings the 19-year-old out in a painful rash. When Ashleigh gets wet her body explodes in sore, itchy red lumps that take about two hours to ease. She has to wash. But showering is a painful experience and she can only do it for a minute at a time. These brief showers are the only contact Ashleigh has with water.

3Allergic to sex

Medical researchers have found that some women are allergic to their male partner's seminal fluid, the thick liquid that carries sperm. Doctors know the disorder as “human seminal plasma hypersensitivity.” In rare cases, the allergic response can cause death. But there is good news. The malady is usually treated by allergists, although it takes some effort by concerned, caring male partners. To desensitize a woman's immune system against semen, doctors can either apply diluted samples of semen to a woman's vagina every 20 minutes, gradually increasing the concentration over the course of several hours, or the women can receive allergy shots containing small amounts of semen over the course of several weeks. Both techniques require sex two or three times a week to train their immune system.

4Allergic to wood

Wood allergies can definitely be troublesome. While people are allergic to certain types of wood or sawdust, there are cases when people are allergic to any type of wood in many types of forms, whether it is dust or solid. Along with wood allergies comes the fact that you can't touch paper, use a pencil, or be a lumberjack! The allergy can be so strong that it can cause the skin to look as if it was burned. In most cases wood allergies cause skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, and hives.

Dan Hill, a 32 year-old banker, quit his £80,000 a year job to live his dream of being a carpenter, only to discover he had developed an allergy to wood. Luckyly for him, he found a wood he was not allergic to – Welsh oak – and moved from the workshop in Devon to Swansea to start a furniture business with his brother.

5Allergic to exercises

Don't go laughing if a friend tells you he or she is allergic to exercise. He may be one of the 1,000 people who actually have this allergy. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA) is a severe allergic reaction caused by exercise, and may be related to eating certain foods before exercising. This life-threatening allergic reaction is usually seen when the victim is allergic to certain foods or medications and works out after partaking of the offending item. Shellfish, wheat, hazelnuts, grapes, and drugs such as ibuprofen, antibiotics, cold medications and herbal supplements can be the culprits. Attack symptoms are fatigue, warmth, itching, redness of the skin, then large hives, collapse and unconsciousness. They may have swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, choking, nausea and vomiting.

6Allergic to apples eaten near a birch tree

Many food allergies occur when the specific food is consumed, but Grace Morley has a rare and bizarre food allergy. She is not allergic to either apples or birch trees on their own, but if she eats an apple close to where a birch tree is growing she will go into shock and could die within minutes. When these two are combined Grace responds by going into severe shock.

7Allergic to the sun

It's not that uncomun for people to be allergic to the sun, but there is special type of sun allergy, called solar urticaria, that is very rare. It is said that very few people in the world suffer from it. Solar urticaria (SU) is a rare condition in which exposure to ultraviolet or UV radiation, or sometimes even visible light, induces a case of urticaria or hives that can appear in both covered and uncovered areas of the skin. The most common locations include the "V" of the neck, the back of the hands, the outside surface of the arms and the lower legs.

8Allergic to modern living

For most people talking on a mobile phone, cooking dinner in the microwave or driving in a car is simply part of modern living in 21st century. But completing any such tasks is impossible for people like Debbie Bird – who is allergic to modern technology. The 39-year-old is so sensitive to the electromagnetic field (emf) or 'smog' created by computers, mobile phones, microwave ovens and even some cars, that she develops a painful skin rash and her eyelids swell to three times their size if she goes near them.

Officially in the UK, electro-sensitivity (ES) does not exist as a medical condition. Doctors say there is little scientific evidence to back up a link between EMF and poor health. They claim the symptoms, often attributed to flu or viruses, are psychosomatic. But campaigners disagree. They reckon around 500 people are already being treated for ES and as many as five per cent of the population could be affected.

9Allergic to kissing

It may sound humorous that kisses can also trigger allergic reactions in humans. Real kisses can develop hives, rashes, itchy eyes, blisters on eyelids, puffy lips, wheezing and respiratory distress. A small peck on the cheek does not pose any serious dangers but passionate kisses can. Though this allergy doesn't mean one is allergic to another's lips or…tongue, the person who suffers from this allergy is usually one with a severe food or medicinal allergy. Because of the close contact and sharing of saliva, food particles or particles from medicine can be left in the mouth, causing an allergic reaction in some.

In 2003 Jamie Stewart, 17, went into anaphylactic shock at the dance in Dingwall in the Scottish Highlands when he kissed his workmate Liza Macfarquharn under the mistletoe. The teenager had a peanut allergy and Liza had just eaten a bag of nuts.

10Allergic to underwear

It's that type of reaction in which skin develops rashes, itching and even blisters. The underwear allergy is very troublesome to the extent that it is painful while touching or rubbing that area. Anyone suffering from underwear allergy can get rid of it very easily and quickly. The main reason responsible for causing this type of allergy in both men and women could be the different types of fabrics used in making it such as polyester, cotton, latex etc. The best solution for avoiding this type of allergy is to use high quality, skin friendly and bacterial resistant underpants. In case of severe reactions, one should consult a dermatologist.

After several appearances without underwear, star Britney Spears was said to suffer from this kind of allergy.