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31 Allergic Reactions That Actually Hurt To Look At

*buys all of the allergy medicine just in case*

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to show us their most ridiculous allergic reactions.

Folks, we’re definitely not making light of severe allergies here. Even if some of these people can look back and laugh now, there's no doubt they were in pain and probably panicking at the time — but we'll let their stories tell you more about all that.

FYI: An allergic reaction can be anything from sneezing or skin rashes to the most serious and fatal reaction, anaphylaxis. Many allergy sufferers rely on medications like the EpiPen to stop their reactions — which is especially important given the recent 500% price hike. So in addition to making you cringe or laugh, we hope this post serves as a reminder of why allergies should always be taken seriously.

1. This woman who got a little too close to dust mites:

"Apparently I’m allergic to dust mites. My breathing was never affected, and I only itched a little, but my boss wouldn’t let me go to work that day, as I worked in retail."


2. This girl who is a PSA about the dangers of eyelash tinting:

"I have red eyelashes and was offered free eyelash tinting at the office I worked at. Everything went great until I woke up the next morning and saw my reflection in the mirror. My family called me Quasimodo. Each day it kept getting worse and I also couldn’t see. I was put on oral and topical steroids, which made my face even more swollen. It turns out I’m severely allergic to the zinc in tinting dye. The worst part is this happened the day before my sophomore year of college."



6. And this woman, who is allergic to the acids in apples...which are also found in hair dye:

Courtesy of Mackenzie Childs

"I've known that I'm allergic to apples, but I found out that some hair dyes have apple acids in them after I dyed my hair and my head, face, and neck swelled up. Along with the swelling came puking on New Year's Eve (yes, the hair dye was the reason for puking) and itching like crazy."

—Mackenzie Childs

7. This girl who got hive-leggings from taking the wrong antibiotics:

"I only took a picture of my legs, but my entire body (including my face) was covered in these hives after an allergic reaction to antibiotics."



8. This girl whose spider allergy turned her into Quasimodo, IRL:

"I got a spider bite in the eye the night before I started my new job. Thankfully, the incident was also near Halloween so it had the potential of being the best Quasimodo costume of all time."


9. This girl who still has no idea what turned her into a Donald Duck–Homer Simpson mashup:

"As I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that my lip felt numb and tingly. I hadn’t eaten anything that day (not a food allergy), there was no evidence of a bug bite, and I didn't use lip balm. When I looked in the mirror, I saw this. It continued to grow for a few more hours until my entire lower lip was no longer visible. I looked like the offspring of Donald Duck and Homer Simpson for another day or two until it deflated. The cause remains unknown and even the doctors had no idea."


11. The person who couldn't even see the cashews that did this to their face:

"I was eating cashews at work when my tongue started to feel a little funny. Not really knowing why, I kept eating them. Then my eyes started itching really bad. I looked in the mirror and they were growing in size. Turns out I’m allergic. My eyes were like this for three days."



13. This person whose arm looks like the aftermath of a mosquito convention:

Courtesy of Allison Klaiber

"About a year ago, I went to my doctor and told him I'd been having a little bit of trouble with allergic reactions, which I found odd as I'm in my mid-20s and have never been allergic to anything. Anyways, when I showed him this picture of my arm, his jaw dropped and he was completely lost for words!"

—Allison Klaiber

15. This woman who touched the wrong leaves:

"Pro tip: identify all plants around you before sitting next to a bush and picking at the leaves. The top two pics were from the second day of the reaction, the bottom left was the third day (after seeing a doctor and getting a prescription), and the bottom right was the fourth day, after going back to the doctor for shots and more prescriptions. I went to Alaska on the fifth day and thankfully my swelling went down enough that my face mostly matched my license photo."



16. This girl who gets golf-ball-sized eyelids from dust:

"I went to the doctor and apparently I am extremely allergic to dust. This is what happens when I’m in a dusty area. My eyes grow to the size of golf balls."


17. This person who will never go around balloons again:

"I’m deathly allergic to latex. This is the aftermath of someone holding a balloon and then grabbing my arm. It was so swollen and painful that I couldn’t go to class for four days."


18. This girl who could barely even see what her bee allergy looked like:

"I was on a company day trip and got stung by a bee just under the eye. Thought I would be fine at first, but a few hours later I looked like this and had to be taken to the hospital. My coworkers told me they would remind me of this for years."


19. This girl who was left with resting-seasonal-allergy-face:

"I have awful seasonal allergies and was working as a camp counselor a couple of years ago. After a long day outside on a field trip, this happened to me on the bus ride back. My poor eyes got so itchy and so swollen. And yes, the kids noticed and yes, my coworkers did laugh at me."



21. This girl who didn't know you could be allergic to mosquitos:

Courtesy of Baylee Phillips

"I didn't know I was allergic to mosquitoes. Not pictured is my hand that also got bitten and swelled up so bad I couldn't bend my fingers."

—Baylee Phillips

23. This lady whose tea tree oil facial went very, very wrong:

"I found out I was allergic to tea tree oil after covering my face in it. The next morning, my entire face was covered in tiny blisters and I ended up being sent to a wound care clinic. Never again."



24. This girl who is maybe allergic to Cuba:

"On a college class trip to Cuba, I woke up at 5 a.m. looking like this. I took a picture and went back to bed, and then went to the hospital in the morning. My first time ever going to a hospital was in Cuba. And it was just because of allergies. What was I allergic to? I still don’t know."


25. This girl who proves that in some cases, you really shouldn't pet that dog:

"I’m severely allergic to dogs, but I still pet them all the time because… dogs. One time, I pet my friend’s dog and apparently didn’t wash my hands before touching my face. It took a week for my eyes to be the same size again."


26. This woman whose reaction to shellfish looked like botched lip injections:

Courtesy of Taylor Gayles

"I have a serious shellfish allergy. One night, I decided to go for Mexican food and margs. I started feeling tipsy and thought that I cut the inside of my lip with a chip. I asked my friend if my lip looked weird and she said no. About 10 minutes later, I asked her again. The look on her face was priceless. I assume some shellfish touched my food! I looked like I had a botched lip plumping."

—Taylor Gayles

27. This girl who still doesn't know what gave her this ~naturally rosy~ glow:

Courtesy of Meaghan Connor

"I currently live in Fiji on a small island and was in the capital city restocking supplies. All of a sudden my friend tells me that my face is getting red and blotchy. I'm not sure what caused the reaction but am very happy my friend Hannah always carries around Benadryl with her."

—Meaghan Connor


28. This girl who literally needs her latte made with soy milk:

Courtesy of Anna-Maria Swiatek

"I have fatal food allergies to all dairy and egg products. This particular reaction was from having three sips of a latte made with milk instead of soy milk."

—Anna-Maria Swiatek

29. This student who thought their amoxicillin reaction was a stress rash from college classes:

Courtesy of Andrea Webster

"This happened during my first week of University. I thought it was a stress rash but then it spread ALL OVER my body. It was hot and itchy and I ended up going to the hospital after my throat started closing up. Turns out I have an allergy to amoxicillin, which I was given for strep throat!"

—Andrea Webster

30. This girl who should've gone on vacation in Seattle instead of Florida:

"My allergic reaction happened when I was on vacation in Florida. Apparently I had developed a severe allergy to the sun. My face slowly began to swell to the point where my eyes were swollen shut. The whole ordeal took about six or seven days to finally go away. The worst part was that we had to drive back from Florida to New York. Stopping at rest stops was NOT fun."

—Tracy McKay

31. And finally this person, who's literally allergic to life:

"This was my back after my scratch test at my allergist. I wound up in the ER a few times, and I thought it was about time to figure out exactly what I was allergic to. Turns out, I am allergic to life."

Christina O.