What Life Is Like When You're Allergic to Your Own Sweat

'One step shy of being allergic to breathing or blinking'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2016 5:04 PM CDT
What Life Is Like When You're Allergic to Your Own Sweat

A 28-year-old Florida woman says her life has been destroyed by horrible allergies. But it's not pollen, cats, or peanuts she's allergic to; it's her own sweat and tears. "You don't realize how much your body sweats until you become allergic to it," Julie Reid writes on her blog. "I would say it's one step shy of being allergic to breathing or blinking." Reid, a gymnastics and dance instructor, was diagnosed with a rare condition called cholinergic urticaria three years ago, ABC News reports. People with the condition, which comes on for seemingly no reason, have overly sensitive skin that reacts to sweat, tears, and even hot showers. According to WFTS, the painfully itchy hives Reid breaks out in can last for days on end; her blog features graphic pictures.

Since developing cholinergic urticaria, Reid has lost her job and gained more than 100 pounds. She says she can't go the store without getting horrible looks due to her hives. "I used to be so beautiful; now I look like a monster," she tells WFTS. "I just stay in bed and cry and cry." Reid says the Florida heat makes going out during the day impossible anyway. She says she's depressed and barely bothers to get out of bed anymore. "It's torture living like this," she says. The condition is known to disappear as spontaneously as it comes, though there is no timeline. Doctors can provide antihistamines, but without a job or health insurance, Reid has a hard time paying for appointments. She's hoping her plight will bring more attention—and hopefully a cure—to cholinergic urticaria. (Some people are allergic to vibrations, and scientists now think they know why.)

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