Surprising Allergies You May Have

Hand sanitizer

Chances are, you’ve encountered the ingredient called benzalkonium chloride, which can irritate skin. It’s often contained in hand sanitizers, so your efforts to fend off the flu may cause your hands to break out in itchiness and redness. Another place you’ll find it in: as a preservative in many eye drops. If you’re allergic, scan the ingredient list to make sure yours doesn’t contain it , some will advertise that they contain no “benzalkonium chloride.

Fitness trackers

It’s well known that costume jewelry can cause an allergic reaction, as these baubles are often made with materials like nickel. Your fitness tracker may also be made with irritating metals. In fact, nickel is one of the most common causes of allergic skin rashes, affecting more than 18 million people in North America, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In 2014, Fitbit recalled one million of these wristbands because of reactions that resulted in redness, rashes or blisters. These rashes happen hours to days after wearing them, so the culprit may not be obvious. An allergist can do a patch test to see what’s setting off your skin woes.

Red meat

Sink your teeth into a big, juicy burger and the unexpected happens: you erupt in hives. Bites from the Lone Star tick can cause this perplexing allergic reaction.

Sunscreen

Smart move to slather on the SPF to safeguard skin from the sun’s aging and skin-cancer producing rays. But you may notice that your skin has become angry since then. If you’re experiencing burning or stinging or seeing a rash, you may be allergic to your favorite sunscreen. Try switching to a mineral-based sunscreen that contains UV-blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

Decorative pillows

You may expect to be free of sneezing and itchy, watery eyes during the winter, but just because you’re not outdoors with pollen doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. In fact, all the time spent indoors can make you more likely to react to the most common winter allergen: dust mites, which can be found in hoards in the decorative pillows on your bed or sofa.