Having allergies is a natural thing for humans. Usually, the most common allergies are allergies to cow’s milk, nuts, eggs, shrimp or dust. However, what if there are humans who are allergic to water? Does that make sense, since water is the main need for humans to survive?
Well, the fact is there really are people who are allergic to water! This condition is known as aquagenic urticaria. What is triggered and can this allergy be cured? Check out more about this allergy, let’s go!
1. Get to know more about allergies to water
Before we go further, let’s understand this allergy first. Known as the scientific name of aquagenic urticaria, this allergy is triggered by water that hits the skin. The reaction that arises is the skin that itches and flushes when exposed to water. Not temperature or chemicals such as fluorine and chlorine that trigger this condition, but the skin is not tolerant of water.
2. These are symptoms that you can know!
As with other allergies, this water allergy is also characterized by changes that occur in the skin. The symptoms are itching, redness of the skin and a rash in the area that comes into contact with water. This symptom will appear a few minutes after the body comes into contact with water.
Parts of the body that generally experience allergies are the neck, upper body and arms, although it is possible that it can occur anywhere on the body. This rash, redness and itching generally disappears within 30-60 minutes.
3. So, what is the cause of this water allergy?
The cause of aquagenic urticaria still cannot be explained exactly. According to the Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center page, substances that dissolve with water enter the skin and trigger an immune response.
This is related to the immune system, which reacts to compounds contained in water. The interaction between water and skin raises certain responses to the skin and causes itching, redness and rash.
4. How many people have allergies to water?
Water allergy is a rare condition. The BBC page also tells the facts and found that there is one in every 230 million people in the world.
That is, there are only 32 people who have water allergies on this earth! According to Marcus Maurer, a dermatologist from the European Center for Allergy Foundation (ECARF) in Germany, he handles 2,000 patients with skin rashes and three of them have aquagenic urticaria.
5. How to diagnose you have a water allergy or not?
The diagnosis starts from evaluating the patient’s history and looking for what signs cause severe reactions to water. Then, the patient will undergo a test in which water will be applied to the upper body for 30 minutes. This water can be splashed directly or from a wet towel placed on the body.
The tested water comes from different types, for example distilled water (water through the refining process), tap water (water from drinking water companies) and saline water (mixing water and salt). Usually, the water temperature used is between 35-37 degrees Celsius, adjusting to human body temperature. After that, the skin will be examined to see the reaction for 10-15 minutes.
6. So, can a water allergy sufferer still be able to drink or not?
If someone has a water allergy, can they still drink water or not? The answer: very good! Allergies will only occur if the water touches our skin, while the inside of the oral cavity does not have an allergic reaction with water. As long as it doesn’t touch the skin, it won’t harm you!
Even so, it is recommended for people with water allergies not to drink tap water, which is a drinking water facility that is provided for residents who are outdoors activities, because they tend to be less sterile. To relieve thirst, it is recommended to drink bottled water.
7. Can a water allergy be cured and how is it treated?
There are several treatments that can be done for those of you who have water allergies. Among other things, applying special creams is a barrier between skin and water, such as petrolatum-based products. This cream can be used before bathing to prevent penetration of water into the skin.
In addition, it can be done with ultraviolet light therapy, such as ultraviolet radiation PUVA and ultraviolet B radiation, which is reported to be able to overcome the symptoms of water allergy in some cases, said the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center page. You can also take antihistamines, drugs that are used to treat allergies.
Well, that’s the unique facts about water allergy. Hopefully this knowledge is useful, huh!