The Weird World Of Water Allergies

Allergies are unfortunately very common: statistics show that one in five people in America are allergic to at least one thing. And while some allergies, such as milk or hay, are relatively common, others are much stranger. Perhaps the weirdest thing to be allergic to is water. Yes, that's right: some people actually suffer from a serious allergy to water.

What is Water Allergy?

Water allergies are actually a form of physical urticarial called Aquatenic urticaria. Technically, they are not a true allergy, but are treated by the same specialists and produce many of the same symptoms.

What are the Symptoms?

Basically, water allergies cause the skin to break out in painful rashes and hives wherever it comes into contact with water. It can take hours for these symptoms to disappear, during which time the contacted skin is in constant pain.

Water allergies can begin at any time: for example, an Australian teen developed her symptoms when she was 14 and has been living with them for over five years.

Can You Drink Water?

Thankfully, people with water allergies can drink water. The problematic condition only occurs when the outer skin comes into contact with water. The skin of the mouth and the digestive system is safe from water allergies.

However, the skin of the lips could easily break out if exposed to water, so people with water allergies should drink from straws to avoid a reaction.

What Other Inconveniences Can it Cause?

With water allergies, bathing becomes close to impossible. The aforementioned Australian teen works hard to keep herself clean, but must bathe only small portions of her skin at a time and suffer through severe pain. She even suffers from rashes when she sweats.

Another water allergy sufferer, Rachel Prince of England, was once confined to her home during an exceptionally wet winter. Rashes and hives even broke out when she kissed her fiance.

Are There Any Treatments?

Treatments for this condition essentially work by blocking the skin from water or treating symptoms when skin has been exposed to water. For example, many sufferers utilize substances like Vaseline to keep water away from the skin and steroid creams to reduce the rashes and hives.

Intriguingly, oral antihistamines have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of water allergies, even though they are technically not a true allergy. Other treatments include beta-blockers and ultraviolet B therapy.

Though water allergies are exceptionally rare, they may form for no reason and with little warning. If you're worried that you or someone you love may have developed this condition, you should talk to an allergy tester like Allergy Clinic - Idaho immediately to get the treatment you need.