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Allergic to pregnancy? British woman experiences rare skin reaction

When a British woman developed a rash all over her body during pregnancy, doctors gave her antibiotics, but it was later determined that she may have actually been allergic to being pregnant.

While more than 55 percent of people in the United States test positive for at least one allergen, there are much rarer reactions that affect people worldwide. One of them is specific to expectant mothers: being allergic to pregnancy.

As unbelievable as it may sound, Zuleika Closs, 26, is the most recent woman to experience such a reaction. According to Fox News, the Falmouth, Cornwall, resident baffled doctors when she came in with symptoms including an itchy, burning rash all over her body while pregnant with her son, Emmanuel.

Closs, who first noticed the rash when she was 20 weeks into her pregnancy, was diagnosed with scabies and given antibiotics by doctors.

"At first, it felt like something was crawling on my skin but then it became unbearable," said Closs of her symptoms. "My feet were the worst. I scratched so hard that large chunks of skin kept falling off. It was peeling off like [an] orange peel."

After her son was born, Closs saw another doctor who diagnosed her with Pemphigoid gestationis. Fox News reported that the autoimmune pregnancy disorder affects only one in two million women worldwide. It occurs in women after 13 weeks of gestation, when placenta tissue enters the mother's bloodstream and "causes her immune system to become activated and cross react with her skin," according to the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD). This causes blisters and other skin irritations.

The BAD website suggests that female hormones – such as oestrogen – may aggravate the reaction, which is why it occurs during pregnancy.

Fortunately, developing this kind of autoimmune disorder is rare, but if you're part of the one in five people in the United States who have allergy or asthma symptoms, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of having a bad reaction. By investing in a car cabin air filter for your vehicle and a whole house air purifier for your home, you can make both spaces more comfortable and less likely to aggravate your symptoms.

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