Karine’s essay :)

Aquagenic Pruritis


Allergies are a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system, often associated with some type of food, dust or materials that occur very rarely affecting only one in 230 million people worldwide. “Only around 30-40 people worldwide are thought to have been diagnosed with the condition, which was first described in 1964.”

Aquagenic Urticaria causes severe itching after contact with water usually in any temperature. Symptoms develop within minutes and it leaves the skin “weeping with reds welts and blisters”  c

The intensity of Aquagenic Pruritis depends from case to case. According to cases reported by MSN Healthy Living, Mail Online and Florida Today, this condition can happen to anyone at any stage of life. In MSN Healthy Living, a mum shows concerns about her 15 years old son, that recently when he takes shower his chest itches badly. She starts to become frustrated, because she has changed every soap and laundry detergent and still could not found what the problem was. Another paper, Mail Online, tells the story of a 21 years-old-mother, which on the first day that she bathed, after giving birth to her son, noticed that something was wrong. She has the more aggressive version of the disease: she cannot drink water, only tolerate Diet Coke and cannot carry her child for long because of his sweat. Florida Today also reports another testimony, this time about a 57-years-old attorney that has dealt with the disease for 15 years. “The problem started one day, while he was riding on his motorcycle and he felt his skin crawling.  After much trial and error, what works best for Steve is a short hot shower only at night.”

Medical opinion does not know the exact causes and just follow a few tips of treatment for relief of the symptoms without a cure. Some investigators believes that it caused by the release of histamine, others by a blood disorder called polycythemia vera or mineral presences in the water (such as chlorine, fluoride). Depending on the case, patients are medicated with antihistamines and Capsaicin cream. Also, an oil-based emollient lotion before bath and phototherapy are recommended.

Aquagenic Pruritis is a rare allergy of water, that could happen to everyone in different levels and Science does not have a complete understanding of the cause nor the cure. Talking about the problem “helps to increase the awareness of this rare disorder which can be debilitating”.



1 Comment

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One response to “Karine’s essay :)

  1. I didn’t know that people could be allergic to water D: Interesting (:

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