Monthly Archives: September 2016


5 Unusual Things That Can Trigger Your Allergies

Allergy TriggersWhen you think of the things that trigger sinus and skin allergies, you probably think of the usual — pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, food — but there are some other things out there that can cause reactions too. And these may surprise you. Let’s take a look:

  1. Leather shoes. If your feet are sore and itchy, it could possibly mean that you have been spending too much time standing, your shoes don’t fit right, or you are having an allergic reaction to your shoes. While not a common allergy, some people react to the chemicals that are used to treat the leather and end up with a rash, contact dermatitis, on their feet.
  2. Water. Believe it or not, some people, mostly women, can get hives just from touching water. While the cause of aquagenic urticaria is difficult to pinpoint, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that the onset is often around puberty and cites studies that suggest it occurs when:
    • A substance dissolved in water enters the skin and triggers an immune response. In this theory, the hives are not caused by water, specifically, but rather an allergen in the water.
    • An interaction between water and a substance found in or on the skin generates a toxic material, which leads to the development of hives.
  3. Exercise. Yep, you read that correctly. You can be allergic to exercise. However, before you give up your gym membership, keep reading a little further. There are two types of exercise allergies and neither is very common. The Merck Manual explains:
    • Rarely, vigorous exercise triggers a widespread, potentially severe allergic (anaphylactic) reaction. In some people, this reaction occurs only if they eat a specific food (especially wheat and shrimp) before exercising. Breathing becomes difficult or blood pressure falls, leading to dizziness and collapse. An anaphylactic reaction can be life threatening.
  4. Nickel.  If you are allergic to nickel, the material that composes coins, money may not buy happiness. It may, however, cause contact dermatitis. In fact, for anyone with a nickel sensitivity, other items that contain nickel such as jewelry, snaps on jeans, makeup, lotions, soaps, and shampoos can cause a reaction as well. For more information on this skin allergy, visit this blog from our subsidiary CT Sinus Center: “Scratching Out Skin Allergies.”
  5. Temperature. In “5 Things to Know About Allergies at the Beach,” we discussed solar urticaria, in which people break out in red, itchy hives. If the reaction is severe enough, it can lead to anaphylactic shock. On the opposite end of the spectrum is cold urticaria. Mayo clinic explains, “Cold urticaria symptoms begin soon after the skin is exposed to a sudden drop in air temperature or to cold water.”

If you think you are suffering from allergies, either any of these or one of the more common types, contact Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat at (888) 230-3715 and schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians today. And for all things ear, nose and throat related, visit the Westwood ENT website and blog.