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Water AllergyDid you know that some people can be allergic to water? Yes. According to a 2011 report (NCBI), there are fewer than 100 cases of aquagenic urticaria reported in the medical literature. Water is essential to the human body. It regulates body temperature, moistens tissues in the eyes, nose, and mouth, protects body organs and tissues, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, lubricates joints, flushing out waste products, and helps dissolve minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to your body. Knowing the important functions of water, how can someone with an allergy survive without it?

Aquagenic urticaria is a rare form of urticaria, a type of hives called aquagenic hives that causes a rash to appear after you touch the water and its sources including rain, snow, sweat, and tears. It’s a form of physical hives which is associated with itching and burning. Persons may experience an itchy and painful rash and it commonly appears on the neck, arms, and chest. Other symptoms may include reddening of the skin, burning sensations, lesions, welts, and inflammation. In more severe cases, drinking water can cause a rash around the mouth, difficulty swallowing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. As of the moment, researchers are still working to determine the exact cause of aquagenic urticaria.

Due to the rarity of the disease, aquagenic urticarial has no cure yet. However, there are treatments available to alleviate the symptoms. Your doctor may recommend antihistamines. These are medications used to treat allergy-like symptoms. Creams or other topical agents such as petrolatum-based products that serve as a barrier between water and the skin may also be used. These may be used before bathing or other exposure to water to prevent water penetration into the skin. Other treatments include ultraviolet light therapy (phototherapy) and Omalizumab. If you are diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, you should avoid getting in contact with water as much as possible. Keep safe!

PNFP-ZDN Rowence F. Zorilla, RND

References:

1. Water: Essential to your body

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/water-essential-to-your-body

2. Aquagenic Urticaria

https://www.healthline.com/health/aquagenic-urticaria#causes

3. Aquagenic Urticaria

https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/10901/aquagenic-urticaria#:~:text=Aquagenic%20urticaria%20is%20a%20rare,a%20form%20of%20physical%20urticaria.