Tears in the eyes or itching of the skin can hide an allergic reaction behind it. Not infrequently, the trigger is unknown – in some cases, also unusual.
House dust, pollen and animal hair: What literally does not itch for others, causes other people to have to torment allergic reactions. In some cases, however, the triggers remain undetected because they are not so well known or commonplace.
These include wool and red meat, as the “Neue Apotheken Illustrierte” (issue October 1, 2019) explains.
Although there is no known allergy to purified and undyed sheep wool, it is true against so-called wool wax alcohols. The substance, also known as lanolin, is contained in the wool and ensures that the hair coat of the sheep is water-repellent.
Although lanolin is seldom found in pullovers today, it is used in medical and cosmetic products such as creams and ointments. In the case of affected persons, the substance usually causes redness, itching, and eczema within 24 to 48 hours after contact.
Red meat as an allergenic trigger
But red meat can also cause allergic reactions in some people. That contains a sugar molecule called alpha-galactose, also called Alpha-Gal. The tricky part: Symptoms such as redness, shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea often appear only a few hours after the meal. The allergy is therefore often not or only recognized late. Digestion may give a special blood test that detects alpha-gal antibodies in the blood.
In general, if possible, avoid the trigger. In case of contact allergies, gels containing antihistamines may help to provide cooling. Also, cortisone creams are then a possibility. Depending on the type of symptoms, sprays and tablets containing antihistamines can also help. If you are prone to severe allergic reactions, you can also order a set of emergency medications from an allergist.