Cats, dogs, and other furry pets are known to cause sneezing fits in those allergic to their dander, but reptiles can be allergy culprits, too. “Your immune system senses that all the little proteins in their skin are bad, so it goes after them and causes allergy symptoms,” says Richard Lavi, MD, of the Allergy Asthma & Sinus Relief Center in Twinsburg, Ohio. A university in Spain even published a case study about a 42-year-old woman who suffered allergy symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, and asthma caused by her pet iguana.
“It’s pretty unusual but people can be allergic to semen,” says Philip Halverson, MD, of Allergy & Asthma Specialists in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Symptoms are typically confined to the area of contact, so oral sex will cause irritation in the mouth or throat and women can develop vaginitis, inflammation of the vagina that causes unusual discharge, itching, or pain.
Here’s what allergists do to control their own allergies.