Introduction to water allergies
Even though it sounds impossible, considering that most of the body is made out of water, some people can actually be allergic to water.
The allergy is usually associated with some kind of reaction of the skin when a person comes in contact with water. However, it can also cause an internal reaction as well.
The severity of the reaction will depend on the water’s temperature in most circumstances.
In essence, there are two different types of water allergies, aquagenic pruritus and cold urticaria.
This is a water allergy that is triggered only by cold water and people usually get it when going swimming.
When a person has this allergy, large welts usually appear on the skin, on the feet and hands most likely, and these welts can be very itchy.
It is, unfortunately, a chronic condition and usually lasts for six weeks once it appears. It can also plague a person for their entire lifetime and it is very hard to predict when the allergy will resurface again.
It can be both inherited and acquired and is usually develops when a person is in between the ages of 18 and 25.
This type of allergy is diagnosed by a doctor by performing a cold test. This is done by holding a piece of ice to the skin of the arm and it takes about five minutes to perform.
There will be red hives appearing on the skin if the test is positive.
When the allergy does erupt, the most important thing to do is to avoid cold water at all costs. There are antihistamines that will help to treat the allergic reaction, some that are popular on the market and available in every drugstore are Zyrtec, Benadryl and Claritin.
Topical creams can also help with the hives. Aquagenic Pruritus
This allergy is characterized by a very intense prickling of the skin and itching sensation whenever a person is in contact with water.
However, there will be no lesions or hives that develop along with the itching.
Symptoms arrive on direct contact with water or humid air and the itching usually lasts for about an hour, if not more.
According to studies, it occurs equally in both genders and in skin tone of all varieties.
There has been very little research done to determine the origin of the disease, so experts are not certain whether, it is a hereditary condition or not.
This can have a serious affect on a person’s life, because contact with water is such a normal and everyday activity. It has been known to lead to depression in some cases.
There are also cases in which people suffer alone with the condition because family members and doctors will not believe them, since there are no visible symptoms on the skin that accompany the itching.
Capsaicin cream is a recommended remedy.