Yes, Water Allergy is Real

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Yes, Water Allergy is Real

Imagine not being able to come in physical contact with water in any way. That would be really devastating, considering that water is a substance that makes up about 70% of the earth and almost as much of our bodies. Of all the allergies in the world, aquagenic urticaria, may be the strangest.

What is it and what causes it?

Aquagenic urticaria is a rare allergy, with only fewer than 100 cases ever reported, according to a 2011 study, published in the Annals of Dermatology. People with this type of allergy rapidly develop hives after contact with water regardless of its temperature, whether this be during bathing, walking in the rain, or even during sweating or crying. The rashes are often seen on the neck, upper trunk, and arms but it can also appear anywhere on the body. In extreme cases, individuals get symptoms if they attempt to drink water.

No one is quite sure about the exact cause of the condition, but researchers have several theories about how it develops. One possibility is that the hives are not caused by water itself, but by a substance dissolved in the water or an interaction between water and a substance found on the skin.

Can they bathe or wash themselves?

Bathing or washing will obviously trigger the reaction. However, those who have this type of allergy find different ways to keep themselves clean, such as taking really short showers with less frequency, using wipes only when needed, and just trying not to get really dirty.

Is there a cure for this?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for aquagenic urticaria, but the effects of the reaction can be managed with anti-allergy drugs and ointments, antihistamines, exposure to ultraviolet B light and creams that serve as a barrier between the water and the skin.

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