Barbara Ward, 43, from Hartlepool, County Durham, can't shower or even exercise because the sweat could send her into anaphylactic shock – a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
It rules out ever doing simple things like laundry, cooking, or bathing children. Barbara can't even go out in the rain.
She can't use conventional cleaning products and has to use a special lard-like soap for washing. She also has to wear a mask on her face in public places as strong scents and products can set off her allergies.
She says: "I can't even read sad posts on Facebook because if I get dragged into an emotional whirlwind and end up crying, I could die."
The allergy is barely understood by professionals, can develop later in life and get more serious over time.