Water Allergy

Water AllergyWater may be the elixir of life but for some it could be a punishing necessity of life.

Water Allergy

is one of the rarest forms of allergy known. One in every 230 million people in the world has this allergy.
This ailment could be scientifically referred to as Aquagenic Pruritas. In this condition, the body perceives the chemicals, minerals and compounds in water as irritants and results in producing excess of histamines. This is basically an auto immune protective mechanism of the body and is generally manifested in a variety of skin conditions like rashes, red inflamed patches, hives or urticaria.

 

Causes of Water Allergy

  • This life saving medium brings in a lot of additives dissolved with it depending on its source.
  • Sourced from springs it has a lot of minerals and sulfur compounds dissolved in it.
  • From oceans and seas it is high in salt content.
  • Having a lot of calcium and magnesium ions dissolved in it makes it hard.
  • When it is treated, it is generally high in fluoride and chlorine.

Symptoms of water hypersensitivity

  • Rashes, bumps and redness with intense itching develop in patches on immediate contact with any form of moisture even if it is humid air.
  • A burning sensation on skin is felt sometimes.
  • Breathing difficulty and throat inflammation after drinking water.
  • Symptoms generally persist anywhere between 10 to 120 minutes.
  • It could be a stepping stone to more serious conditions like Polycythemia or Polycythemia Vera, a disease characterized by the presence of excess red blood cells.
  • Checkered skin and intense itching of eyes when in contact with water.
  • Associated mental stress and depression is also reported with the disease.
  • It could be a heredity condition with several members of the family showing this particular hypersensitivity.
  • Symptoms could persist uncured for years.

Treatment of Water Allergy

  • Ointments like Capsaicin are recommended to provide relief from the symptoms on the skin.
  • Using Antihistamines, H1 and H2 blockers like Claritin, Doxepin or Cimetidine assuages irritable skin.
  • Undergoing Filtered Ultraviolet-B Phototherapy in a hospital or clinic. This treatment is administered by exposing the patient to a vertical light source of filtered electromagnetic radiation of a specific wavelength for a particular duration.
  • Using a TENS ( Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit where mild electricity is used to stimulate nerves also provided relief to some.
  • Using cold water for bath and other washing purpose. Hot water worsens the situation.
  • Shorter baths along with the application of generous amounts of baby oil or lanolin free aqueous cream before and immediately after a bath.
  • Usage of cosmetics meant for sensitive skin is essential.
  • Some patients have reported improvement of the condition with regular exercise.
  • Use of cotton clothing also improves conditions.

Prevention

  • Installing a good water treatment system can strip off a lot of agents and chemicals causing sensitivities and can bring long term relief.
  • A carbon filter applied on the shower head can take care of the organic impurities.