Suffering From A Water Allergy?

It may sound impossible and it certainly is not an ideal situation but you can actually be diagnosed with a water allergy.  This type of allergy usually comes in some form of skin reaction when the person affected comes in contact with water while bathing or swimming.  It can however, also cause reactions internally.

The severity of the reaction to the water usually is also influenced by the water's temperature.  There are basically two different types of water related allergies that you can have being aquagenic pruritus and cold urticaria.

What Is Cold Urticaria?

This type of water allergy is specifically triggered by cold water so it is most commonly associated with swimming.  It is usually characterized by large welts on the skin, most commonly on the feet and hands and are extremely itchy.

Cold urticaria is classified as a chronic condition if the hives appear longer than six weeks.  This condition can last for life and it is unpredictable.  This water allergy can either be inherited or acquired.  If acquired, it usually develops between he ages of 18 and 25.  The hives associated with this condition are a histamine reaction that responds to a cold stimuli.

Diagnosis Of Cold Urticaria

An allergist or licensed practitioner can diagnose cold urticaria by performing a cold test.  A piece of ice is held to the skin of the forearm in this test for approximately five minutes.  If the test is positive, raised red hives will appear.

Treatment For Cold Urticaria

The most important thing to do is stay out of cold water so that you water allergy is not triggered.  Antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Benadryl, Claritin and Allegra can be taken to relieve some of the hives.  There are also topical creams containing an antihistamine that can help.  Cold hives do have the ability to result in a serious or fatal reaction.  Many people with a severe hive history may carry an Epi-pen to use in case of a serious reaction.

What Is Aquagenic Pruritus?

Aquagenic pruritus is a type of water allergy characterized by the skin developing intense, prickling, epidermal itching from being in contact with water.  There are no observable skin lesions associated with the itching.

Symptoms are usually felt immediately after being in direct contact with either water or humid air.  The itching will commonly be present for at least an hour.  It is reported to appear in both genders equally regardless of skin tone or age.  It is not determined if the disease is hereditary or not as little research has been done to determine its origin.

It is not advised to take aquagenic pruritus lightly as the intense itching can have a serious impact on daily activities and can lead to severe depression.  There are many people reported who have suffered all alone with this water allergy because doctors and family members had a hard time believing that there really was some type of cause resulting in these invisible symptoms.  Now that the condition is confirmed, many who have been diagnosed feel a great sense of relief to know that they were not losing their mind, feeling an itchy rash that no one could visibly see.

Treatment For Aquagenic Pruritus

Applying a capsaicin cream over the affected areas is the most common form of treatment.  Ultraviolet-B Phototgherapy performed in a health clinic or hospital is also common.  Liberally applying baby oil before and after bathing can help reduce some of the symptoms as well.  Taking an oral antihistamine is commonly done to help with mild cases.

Some sufferers of this allergy find it helpful to turn the water on very hot for the last few minutes of their shower to help control the itch.  Hairdryers or heat pads used after showering can also help.  Dressing in cotton clothing and using cotton bedding is also reported as helping sufferers to cope as well.




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