Can you be allergic to water? What is water allergy? What are the symptoms and remedies? A person allergic to water can drink water? Let’s be clear. Water allergy is a very rare skin disease. Characterized by a form of intolerance to this element better known as aquagenic urticaria. This disease is strongly disabling because those affected cannot come into contact with the water itself.
Aquagenic urticaria therefore entails severe limitations to normal daily actions. Who is allergic cannot even bathe in sea water and must pay particular attention to using tap water for normal domestic cleaning. So, Can you be allergic to water? The answer in this case is “YES”. Allergy is manifested by the appearance of redness on simple contact with this natural element.
It has been demonstrated that hot water induces a greater allergic reaction than cold water. Aquagenic urticaria affects children, adolescents, young and adults. Manifests without distinction in a temporary, permanent or sporadic way. In the most serious cases, even natural atmospheric phenomena such as rain, contact with seawater or organic reactions such as tears and SWEAT can represent a risk factor.
What happens to your body
So, as mentioned you can be allergic to water, but what happens (really) to your body after a contact with water? The organism of a person suffering from aquagenic urticaria ( on contact with water ) undergoes a reaction similar to that of an allergic person. It works like this: in our body there are mast cells, the cells that intervene in allergic reactions.
They have granules containing histamine inside, while on their surface there is a receptor ( a kind of cap ). Which can bind to the antibodies (molecules involved in the immune response of the HUMAN BODY). When there is a substance that the body does not like ( an antigen ) the antibodies bind to the mastocyte, and then both bind to the antigen.
Activation of mast cell
This bond activates the mast cells, which begin to produce histamine. Histamine increases the permeability of smaller blood vessels. Allowing the molecules contained in same vessels to exit and reach the surrounding tissues. Among the molecules that come out are the white blood cells, which fight the antigen.
The allergic reaction is an exaggerated reaction. The histamine makes a “big mistake”. The molecules that come out of the vessels more easily are of various types and produce different reactions. Excessive for the danger that the body must face. For this reason, during an allergic reaction ( caused by contact between skin and water) you can suffer from skin rashes, swelling and so on.
Can you drink water with Aquagenic urticaria
Yes can drink the water. Aquagenic urticaria is a category of those physical allergies. It is not those typical allergies from inhalants, from foods or from classical antigens, such as allergy to pollen, allergy to mite or allergy to some drug. It is a real skin disease and is revealed by an obvious outburst characterized by pinkish or red swelling at the epidermal level.
These are lesions that can remain circumscribed in an area or spread throughout the body. Develop only at a superficial level. A similar reaction can be triggered, in some people that suffering from a similar disorder, by the action of crawling a solid object on the skin (a pencil, a ballpoint, and so on).
The therapy of chronic urticaria is essentially based on the identification of the possible cause. In order to eliminate it and thus solve the skin problem. In cases where (unfortunately) it is not possible to identify any cause (chronic spontaneous urticaria).
Antihistamine therapy can be taken up to the maximum dosage (which in adults corresponds to one antihistamine tablet every six hours) in order to control the symptoms. In cases “refractory” to antihistamine therapy at the maximum dosage, can be used a therapy with subcutaneous biological drugs (omalizumab).
This therapy is carried out in a hospital and is a very effective therapy in cases of chronic urticaria more difficult to manage and properly selected by the specialist.
The causes and origins of Aquagenic urticaria remain unknown. Some researches hypothesize that this pathology is due to an alteration of histamine levels in the body. Or to an allergic reaction of the person to some chemicals contained in the water (such as chlorine or fluoride).
In some cases, it is assumed that aquagenic urticaria may also be caused by previous medical treatment. There is still no treatment for water allergy. Therapy attempts are mostly based on antihistamines and ultraviolet rays.
Usually, in fact, dermatologists advise to take this type of medication or other medicines to relieve pain and burning, although the only solution, at the moment, is to keep the skin away from contact with water. Only hydrogen peroxide, however, does not cause any particular problems or reactions.