5 Ways You Could Be Allergic To Your Partner

by Teresa Newsome
Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images

Can a person really be allergic to another person? Yes, actually. There are several ways you can be allergic to your partner, because dating and relationships aren't hard enough without adding a little anaphylaxis.

Surely I mean that you can be allergic to their detergent or to pet dander on their clothes, right? Well, you can be allergic to that, too, and I'll cover that, but I'm serious when I say that you can actually be allergic to another human being — as in, biological materials that are part of or come out of their person. Crazy, right? I mean, are humans really that different from one to the next? Enough that our bodies would treat them like invaders and launch attacks against them? And why couldn't I have been allergic to a few of my exes at the beginning of our relationship? Gosh!

While it's incredibly unlikely that you're allergic to your partner, it can happen. And it's not rare at all for you to be allergic to something your partner uses or wears. So consider me your tour guide through the weird world of rare people allergies, and we'll cross our fingers together that you never become allergic to semen. Well, I'm a lesbian, so that wouldn't really bother me, but you know what I mean.

1. Sperm/Semen

Although rare, one person can be allergic to another person's sperm or semen, according to Marjorie Slankard, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in an article for Family Doctor Mag. If you are one of the rare people who suffers this allergy, you could experience everything from burning and tingling after sex, to full-on anaphylactic shock. Luckily, if you use condoms, you have little to worry about on the allergy front. Unless you're also allergic to latex. In which case, just make sure to get latex-free condoms.

2. Saliva

Kissing is a dangerous act when you have severe allergies. You could be allergic to your partner's saliva! Saliva allergies are less about the actual saliva, and more about what's in the saliva. For example, if you're allergic to a certain food and your partner eats it, you can have a reaction to their saliva, according to Michael R. Mardiney, Jr., MD, an allergist at Baltimore Mercy Medical Center, in an article for Everyday Health. The same is true of medicines. And you can get a reaction from things besides kissing, like sharing straws or utensils. Your partner might have to skip your allergens, too, if they want to get some smooch time in.

3. Hair

Human hair allergy is exceptionally rare. There's the case of that barber who is allergic to human hair, but there are not too many other medically documented cases. It's more likely, if you have a reaction related to your partner's hair, that you're reacting to the hair products or dyes they use. You could also have a synthetic hair allergy, if your partner wears extensions.

4. Skin

If you break out in stomach butterflies and an itchy skin rash when your partner touches you, odds are you're not actually allergic to your partner's skin. You're probably experiencing allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when you come in contact with an allergen and have a skin reaction, such as breaking out in an itchy rash when you touch nickel, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

5. Things On Your Partner

There are so many things you can be allergic to on your partner's body. Almost too many to list. You can be allergic to lotion, perfume, makeup, jewelry, detergent, clothing fibers, pet hair on the skin and clothes, or environmental pollutants that your partner has come in contact with, according to American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. An allergist can perform skin tests to help you pin down what the actual cause is so you can do your best to avoid it.

Who would have thought it was the allergist and not the therapist that would save your relationship?

Images: Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images; Giphy (5)