As weird as it may seem, it’s possible for a person to be allergic to water. However, he or she can still drink it. After all, a huge percentage of the body is composed of water and it’s not going to function normally without it. The problem occurs when it touches the skin. Several different reactions take place when the person is exposed to it, depending on its type.
Until now there are no known cures for it. Most of the time, a treatment plan mainly consists of avoiding exposure to the cause of the allergy. It can be as simple as minimizing contact with water by avoiding taking long showers or exposure to rain or even very humid air. Barrier substances also provide some level of protection. There are also a few topically applied and orally taken medications to deal with the symptoms.
Symptoms tend to vary, depending on which particular type of allergy the person has. There are two known main forms of it – cold urticaria and aquagenic pruritus. As the name suggests, cold urticaria is a condition that causes the person to have allergic reactions to cold water. What’s causing this remains unknown, although it tends to be familial.
Cold allergy and cold hives – these are other names of this particular condition. Usually, it’s swimming in cold water which causes the symptoms to occur, although any other way of getting contact with the allergen having low temperature also triggers them. Some of the symptoms are bright skin redness, inflammation, itchiness and presence of hives. In severe cases, like when the entire body is affected, shock, breathing difficulty and even death may happen.
It’s also possible for the symptoms to surface when the individual gets in contact with cold air. Cold urticaria, according to experts, may also be brought about by some underlying medical conditions. They include hepatitis and chicken pox. Today, no cure for it exists, although in many cases it subsides after a few years.
On the other hand, aquagenic pruritus is a condition wherein the person has allergy to water regardless of its temperature. The usual symptom experienced is severe skin itching right after exposure to the allergen, lasting for several hours. It’s commonly experienced in the arms, legs, chest and back. It can happen even when the person sweats or cries. However, there are no observable rashes, unlike in cold urticaria.
Some experts say that these problems aren’t really allergy to the substance per se. It’s said to be merely an extreme reaction to having contact with substances it usually contains, like fluoride, chlorine, etc. That’s why it’s also recommended for the afflicted person to use carbon filters or any other form of filtration at home to get rid of these chemicals.
Someone who is allergic to water may not have any problem drinking it. Until now, the medical world hasn’t found any cure for it. The best things so far which can be done is minimal exposure to the allergen. Antihistamines applied topically or taken orally may be prescribed to help. Some doctors also recommend application of creams with capsaicin or steroids.
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