A 21-year-old girl from California recently opened up about her allergy to water, which causes her a bright rash even if she sweats, cries or showers. Tessa Hansen-Smith was diagnosed with 'aquagenic urticaria' at the age of ten and it has affected her to such an extent that she has to be shuttled around her university campus so that she doesn't break out in a sweat. While speaking to an international media outlet, Tessa said that it's a really difficult condition to have as she is even allergic to her own saliva. She added that even drinking water can cause cuts on her tongue.
Tessa's family first noticed that something was wrong when she was eight as she began to break out in a rash after having a shower. At that time, her family thought that she was allergic to a certain kind of soap but once they realised that it wasn't a simple soap allergy, Tessa and her family did their own research to get to the bottom of the outbreaks. Tessa said she suffers from a lot of muscle fatigue and nausea. Due to the allergy, she also suffers from a fever, migraine and rashes.
Water allergy or water urticaria is a rarely diagnosed form of physical urticaria and the defining symptom is an itchy skin reaction resulting from contact with water. The symptoms of the allergy are similar to all the types of physical hives including, wheals or small raised hives, intense itching, skin flushing in the areas that are prone to water contact. Aquagenic urticaria is a rare condition and there is no treatment that will permanently rid the person of symptoms or the allergy. However, the doctors usually prescribe a medication to calm the breakout. The hives commonly develop on the neck, upper trunk and arms although it can occur anywhere on the body and once the water source is removed the rash generally fades with 30 to 60 minutes. The exact cause of this allergy is still poorly understood.