Allergic to Water – An unfortunate allergy
photo by Tigerlily 09
Did you know there are some people out there who are allergic to water? It’s true! There are two conditions: aquagenic urticaria and aquagenic pruritus – both of which are allergic reactions to water.
How is that possible? How to people stay hydrated? How do they bathe? In aquagenic urticaria contact with water causes hives. In aquagenic pruritus contact with water causes extreme prickliness and itchiness. See, in the first one (let’s call it AU for short), the person is reacting to the ions in non-distilled water. So in that case, you’re probably safe with distilled water. Make sure it’s distilled, though, because the hives pop up and can last for hours.
In AP, unlike AU, the reaction is caused by a histamine. (A histamine is what causes an inflammatory response in a person). This is another one of those diseases that have been met with a lot of speculation. People would feel this crazy itchiness and pain after contact with water, but there are no surface symptoms. So, people wouldn’t believe that people were really feeling all this discomfort because of plain old water.
It’s a real condition, though, and people really suffer with it. Sometimes people with this condition react to just moist air – so humidity is bad, right? Some people find relief in applying heat to their skin directly after bathing, and for others that makes it worse. Sometimes creams or allergy medicines (like Claritin) work, and sometimes it’s just no use – the water makes them itchy.
This is definitely up there in the “allergies we’re glad we don’t have” department, because we love water slides and bubble baths!