Not Your Average Allergy: This Woman Is Allergic to WATER

Allergies can be incredibly annoying and downright uncomfortable to have. But if you think you've got it bad, you won't believe this story.
This woman is allergic to water.
  Alexandra Allen is allergic to water. The 18-year-old Utah woman suffers from what is called  “aquagenic urticaria,” which is a rare condition that results in her breaking out in hives when she is exposed to it. “I describe it as like the top layer of your skin getting sandpapered off—you feel very raw,” Alexandra explained to Science of Us. “And there’s an incessant, burning itch. If I’m not taking anything whatsoever, I will have hives every day.” The majority of us find water to be the main existence of our lives. It makes up the majority of our body, we need it to hydrate, to bathe, to wash dishes, and we crave jumping into it for a nice refreshing swim. But Alexandra can't enjoy it the same way we can. She breaks out in hives every other day, and even has a reaction to her own sweat. “I try so hard not to be awkward, and sometimes I’ll be in a social situation in pain and itching, but I care more about how the hives look, so I focus on trying to cover them up,” she says. “A teenager doesn’t want to have to keep explaining to people, ‘Sorry, I have a rare medical condition that makes me look like a freak.’”The temperature is also a factor for the young woman. The hotter the water is, the worse here hives get. So as for showers, she keeps it cold and short, taking only one two-minute rinse each week. “I move as quickly as I can and then get out of there,” she explains. Rather than using water to wash her hands regularly, she opts for hand sanitizer, and uses a cleansing wipe to wash her face.  “I just pretend I’m permanently on a camping trip,” she says. As for drinking, it can be detrimental to her throat. “Technically, your esophagus has the same sort of glands as your skin, so it is possible that you could have that reaction,” she says. “I’m constantly dehydrated because I don’t want to drink too much water and cause problems.” Alexandra isn't the only one who suffers from this rare condition, however. A 2011 case study published in the Annals of Dermatology noted that both a 19-year-old man and 4-year-old boy also suffer from it, and documented their stories. The paper revealed that there are less than 100 cases that have been medically reported. Of the condition, dermatologist David E. Bank, M.D., director of the Center for Dermatology in Mount Kisco, New York, says it is “beyond rare,” and that, “I’ve seen one case in a quarter of a century.” He adds that, “The idea of being truly allergic to water seems almost inconceivable, and yet it happens.” There is no cure for this disease, so doctors work to treat the symptoms instead, according to Bank. They'll begin with over the counter antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec in order to see if that helps to alleviate the symptoms. “If you get some success, you might add topical cortisone cream to use on an as-needed basis when they erupt,” he notes. But if it's more severe than that, then he says that doctors will opt for potent anti-inflammatories, such as immune suppressors. Have you ever heard of anyone who is allergic to water? Source: Women's Health Do you follow us on Instagram? [caption id="attachment_114150" align="alignnone" width="100"]snapchat code @BodyRockTV[/caption]

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