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What to know about aquagenic urticaria(water allergies)?

 Aquagenic urticaria: What is it?

A rash develops after touching the water in the rare case of aquagenic urticaria, a kind of urticaria. It’s a type of physical hive, and itching and burning are common symptoms.

It is thought that a water allergy causes aquagenic hives. But there has been little research.

Hives can be found in a variety of water sources, including:

• rain

• snow

• sweat

• tears

What triggers this illness?

The precise cause of aquagenic urticaria is currently being investigated. Some people believe that rather than contact with the water itself, the chemical additives in the water, such as chlorine, are what trigger the reaction.

Histamine is released as a result of this rash, which may cause allergy-like symptoms.

When you have an allergic reaction, your immune system sends out histamines to help your body fight off the foreign toxin. Depending on which area of the body is affected, these histamines might cause symptoms similar to allergies.

What signs are present?

A rare illness known as aquagenic hives can result in an uncomfortable and itchy rash. Although hives can form anywhere on the body, this rash frequently appears on the neck, arms, and chest.

People with this illness can suffer the following within minutes of exposure to water:

• Erythema, or skin reddening

• Burning sensations

• lesions

• welts

• inflammation

When symptoms are more severe, drinking water can lead you to experience:

• a rash near the mouth

• trouble swallowing

• wheezing

• Having trouble breathing

Within 30 to 60 minutes after drying your body, symptoms should start to subside.

How is this identified?

Your physician will perform a physical examination to identify aquagenic urticaria by observing your symptoms. Additionally, they will look over your medical background and might even do a water challenge test.

Your upper body will be exposed to a 95°F (35°C) water compress during this test. In order to cause a response, this is done. Within 15 minutes, symptoms should appear.

Your response to the water challenge test will be noted by your doctor, who will compare it to aquagenic pruritus symptoms. Aquagenic pruritus does not result in hives or reddening, only itching and irritation.

What choices are there for treatment?

Aquagenic urticaria is incurable. To reduce symptoms, there are however therapy choices.

Antihistamines are drugs used to treat symptoms similar to allergies. If you experience hives after coming into touch with water, your doctor can advise you to take an antihistamine on a prescription basis.

You might need to use an EpiPen if you have a severe case of aquagenic urticaria and are having trouble breathing. Epinephrine, or adrenaline, is the active ingredient in EpiPens. They are only employed in extreme allergic responses as a last resort. EpiPens raise blood pressure to lessen hives and edoema. When the lungs are restricted, they assist in breathing.

Although there isn’t a cure for water allergies yet, there are a number of treatments that can help with the symptoms. It is crucial to keep in mind, though, that because the disorder is uncommon, little research has been done on how to treat it.

Treatment options that are frequently used include:

Oral antihistamines: Since several symptoms of aquagenic urticaria are brought on by histamine, antihistamines may be used as the initial course of treatment.

Topical therapies: The skin is treated with topical drugs, which are then absorbed by the skin. 
Some persons may benefit from using petrolatum- and oil-based emulsions and lotions to address their symptoms of water allergies.

If oral and topical therapies fail to yield the desired outcomes, a doctor may recommend phototherapy. In addition to antihistamine therapy, a doctor may also use phototherapy, which emits UV rays.

Anabolic steroid stanozolol and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may also be used to treat aquagenic urticaria. Omalizumab, an asthma drug, may also be prescribed by doctors to treat water allergies.

limiting future flare-ups

If your doctor diagnoses you with aquagenic urticaria, you should try to stay away from water.

Not usually is this feasible. As much as you can, try to limit your contact with water. This entails taking quick, infrequent showers, dressing in clothing that wicks away moisture, and being aware of the weather.

You might also want to alter your diet to cut back on items with a lot of water in them.

A lot of people have questions

The most typical queries and responses regarding allergies to water are shown below.

What causes an allergy to water?

There is no known cause of water allergies.

However, some researchers theorised that the mast cells’ histamine production may also be a contributing factor. A toxic material may arise as a result, or a water-soluble antigen and a shift in the osmotic pressure around the hair follicles may also be to blame.

Water allergies, however, can frequently develop without the release of histamine.

Can someone suddenly develop a water allergy?

According to research, water allergies typically start to manifest during or after adolescence. Additionally, certain reports of water allergies manifesting in children have been reported by researchers.

However, further thorough investigation into this uncommon illness is required.

How widespread is a water allergy?

Water allergy is a very uncommon ailment. Around 100 cases of aquagenic urticaria were documented globally in a 2020 study, according to a dependable source.

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