• Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

You definitely have heard about allergies: to food, chemicals, smells, some drugs et cetera. Nevertheless, do you know that some people have allergy to, wait for it, WATER! I have seen several jokes on Social Media during the cold seasons where netizens claim to have water allergy to dodge taking cold showers, but it is no longer a joke to me now, considering that for some, it is a serious medical condition.

Aquagenic urticaria, also known as water allergy, is a rare form of physical urticaria in which hives (rashes) develop on the skin after contact with water, regardless of its temperature. It is sometimes described as an allergy, although it is not a true histamine-releasing allergic reaction like some other forms of urticaria. The condition characteristically results from contact with water of any type, temperature or additive.

The chief symptom of aquagenic urticaria is the development of physical hives, which may or may not itch. The hives associated with aquagenic urticaria are typically small, red- or skin-colored welts (called wheals) with clearly defined edges. Most commonly, the hives develop on the neck, upper trunk and arms, although it can occur anywhere on the body. Once the water source is removed, the rash generally fades within 30 to 60 minutes.  Water in all forms, such as tap or sea water, swimming pool water, sweat, tears, and saliva can induce the lesions.

Currently there is no treatment that will permanently cure the condition. Avoidance of water is recommended as a primary line of defense, and most treatments are palliative in nature rather than curative. Oral or topical anti-histamines, topical corticosteroids and barrier creams are quite effective.

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