Ask McFartnuggets: “Can You Be Allergic to Homeless People?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
Tell me if this is weird or not, but whenever a homeless person comes near me to talk to me I get a really itchy feeling all over my body. I know you can be allergic to dogs and cats because of their hair I’m wondering if the same thing can happen with homeless people or just people who are really dirty? It’s only when the homeless people are really filthy that I get the itches. Am I allergic to homeless people or is it something else? -- Maria from San Francisco, California

Dear Maria:
From my research I don’t think it’s possible to be allergic to actual people. It is possible to be allergic to dust. If you’re very sensitive to dust then that might be what you’re experiencing. If the homeless person is covered in dirt then there will be a good amount of dust mixed in with that. Also, it could be an anxiety issue or something mentally going on. If you experience itchiness around spiders or insects then this may also be what’s happening. It’s called a “phantom itch” and sometimes people’s skin will itch just from seeing certain things. And last but not least, if you’re getting too close to the homeless person it may be lice coming from them and landing on you. You would need to be making direct physical contact with them though, lice cannot jump contrary to popular belief. You’d need to be hugging hobos to contract their body lice. I hope some of this information helps you!

It is possible you're just hobophobic.
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