20 Top Different Types Of Allergens & Symptoms

Before going to discuss different types of allergens, first we should know ” what is allergen”

Any substance that causes an allergic reaction in the body is known as allergen. When these allergens enter the body, the immune system starts an abnormal reaction to them, which results in allergy.

These allergens can be found in many environmental sources such as food, pollen, dust mites, animal dander, drugs and mold.

The severity of the allergy is depended on the type of allergen and immune system of an individual. It can range from mild to severe.

Mild allergy symptoms are sneezing and itching, while severe allergy may lead to life-threatening reactions, such as anaphylaxis.

The ratio of allergies is increasing day by day around the world. According to one study, 30 percent of the world’s population has been affected by one or more allergic conditions. This has increased the focus of researchers to identify and manage allergens and develop new treatments for specific allergies.

Every year, researchers discovered new types of allergens such as allergens found in medicines, industrial chemicals and processed foods. These new allergens create challenges for physicians and other healthcare professionals in treating and managing allergic reactions.  

The treatment becomes easy when the allergen is identified for a specific allergy. The tough step in managing allergies is the identification of allergens.

In this article, we will look through different types of allergens.

Different types of allergens

Different types of allergens

The most common types of allergens include:

Food Allergens

Allergens that are found in food items are called food allergens. Some people are susceptible to certain kinds of foods, and when they eat such types of food, their immune systems start undesirable reactions against them, in the form of vomiting, lips swelling, and tongue swelling.

The most common allergens foods include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.

The Symptoms of food induce allergies can be varied from mild to severe, such as vomiting, hiccups, hives, swelling of the lips and tongue, difficulty in breathing, anaphylaxis, etc.

Pollen Allergens

They are the most common type of allergen and are found anywhere in the world. These allergens come from herbs, plants and trees. Generally, pollen allergens cause seasonal allergies, which are known as hay fever.

Grasses, trees, and weeds are the common types of pollen allergens.

 Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion are the common symptoms of pollen allergies.

Dust Mite Allergens

These are the small microscopic insects that live in household dust and cause indoor allergies. Dust mites are living in mattresses, carpets, curtains, furniture, etc.

Dust mite allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, and asthma.

Animal Dander Allergens

These are the allergens that come from the skin, hair, and saliva of animals, such as pigeons, chickens, cats, dogs, and rodents. These dander allergens cause allergies in susceptible individuals. 

Common symptoms of dander allergies include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and asthma.

Mold Allergens

Mold is a type of fungi that grows in moist and damp places. These mold allergens cause allergies in susceptible people.

Symptoms of mold allergies are similar to hay fever.

Insects bite Allergens

These allergens are found in the venom of certain insects such as honeybees, wasps, yellow jackets, fire ants, and hornets. These allergens cause severe allergic reactions in people.

Symptoms of insect sting allergies can vary from mild swelling, itching, and pain to severe anaphylaxis.

Drug Allergens

These allergens come from medicine, they can be found in over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, and herbal supplements.

Symptoms of drug allergies can vary from mild skin rash, swelling, and pain to severe anaphylaxis reactions.

Latex Allergens

These are proteins found in rubber latex, which is used in balloons, gloves, toys, and other consumer products.  

Symptoms of latex allergies include skin irritation, rashes, swelling, etc.

Chemical Allergens

These allergens are found in everyday products, such as cleaning products, fragrances, cosmetics, etc. They cause allergies in susceptible individuals. 

Symptoms of chemical allergies include irritation, rashes, and difficulty in breathing.

Cockroach Allergens

These allergens come from the feces, saliva, and other body parts of cockroaches. Usually, these are rare allergens and fewer people are susceptible to them.

 Sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, and asthma are the common symptoms of cockroaches allergens.

Metal Allergens

These allergens are found in metal such as utensils, metal chairs, jewelry, watches, and other metal products. Usually, nickel is the main cause of allergy, which is used in watches, coins, mobiles, and other jewelry. Metal allergens cause allergies in susceptible people. 

Symptoms of metal allergies include irritation, inflammation, mild rashes, skin darkness and leatheriness, etc.

Occupational Allergens

Those allergens which are found in the workplace are known as occupational allergens. These allergens cause occupational allergies such as rhinitis, asthma, urticarial, contact dermatitis and conjunctivitis.   

These allergens include chemicals, metals, dust, and other airborne particles.

Symptoms of occupational allergies can vary from mild to severe, depending on the type of allergens.

Sunlight Allergens

They are also called photosensitivity or photodermatitis. Some people are allergic to sunlight, they develop allergies often exposed to sunlight. 

Symptoms of sunlight allergens include rashes, blisters, eczema, irritation and itching.

Water Allergens

These allergens cause allergies when the skin comes in contact with water. It is also called water urticarial.   

Symptoms rashes, red hives, swelling, and itching. But in severe cases, it can cause shortness of breath or wheezing.

Exercise-Induced Allergens

It is also known as exercise-induced anaphylaxis. It is a rare condition in which an allergic reaction occurs after exercise. Certain foods when they are eaten before exercise or physical activity induce allergic reactions after or during exercise or physical activity.

Shellfish, corn, wheat, and peanuts are associated with exercise-induced allergies.

Common symptoms of exercise-induced allergies include pruritus, flushing, hives, wheezing, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.

Cold-Induced Allergens

They are also known as cold urticaria. Some people develop allergies when they are exposed to cold temperatures.   

Symptoms include hives, itching, numbness, and swelling.

Inhaled Chemical Allergens

Inhaled chemical allergens are substances that can cause allergies when inhaled into the lungs.

Some common inhaled chemicals Allergens include bleach, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, and other cleaning products.

Symptoms of inhaled chemical allergens include wheezing, coughing, hiccups, and shortness of breath.

Food Additive Allergens

Food additives are substances that are added to food to increase flavor, texture, or appearance, but certain people are allergic to them. These food additives cause various immunologic reactions.

Examples of food additives include artificial colors, preservatives, flavor, and aesthetic enhancers.

Symptoms can include hives, urticaria and angioedema, nausea, and anaphylaxis.

Pet Allergens

These allergens are found in the skin cells, saliva, and urine of pets and other animals, and cause various kinds of allergies in susceptible people. People are not allergic to pet’s hair, fur, or urine but they are allergic to the proteins that are present in hair, fur, or other body parts.  

Symptoms can include sneezing, asthma, dermatitis, irritation, runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes.


Allergens are substances that cause various kinds of allergies in susceptible people. There are many different types of allergens such as food, pollen, inhaled, chemical, pet dander, additives, insect venom, and more.

To treat allergies, knowing of allergens is very crucial because physicians manage allergies according to their allergens.


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