Sunday, 9 June 2013

Can You Be Allergic to Water

Can You Be Allergic to Water

You can be allergic to water and this condition is normally characterized by redness and itching as well as some blisters. This kind of condition is seldom but it is highly advisable to seek medical attention immediately you discover such a case.

In rare cases, it is possible for a person to physically be allergic to water that touches the skin. A water allergy is generally in the form of a skin reaction that occurs when a person is exposed to water, such as during bathing or swimming, but may rarely cause internal organ symptoms. The skin reaction will typically depend on the temperature of the water. There are two main types of water allergy conditions: cold urticaria and aquagenic pruritis.
allergic to water

Cold urticaria is a condition in which a person may be allergic to water that is cold. He or she may experience skin irritation after direct contact with cold water. Although it tends to occur most often during swimming, the reaction can happen any time a person is exposed to cold water. The most common symptoms include bright red patches or swelling of the skin. In very rare instances, a person with cold urticaria may have difficulty breathing or have an increased heartbeat after exposure.

Causes of Allergic to Water

The exact cause of cold urticaria is not conclusively proven, but often runs in families. It may also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as hepatitis, chicken pox, or mononucleosis. There is no cure for cold urticaria, but it tends to subside on its own within five years.

Aquagenic pruritis is a condition that results after exposure to water of any temperature. Symptoms develop within minutes and may include itching, burning or even a prickly sensation. Most times there are no skin changes, although a faint, bumpy, itchy red rash may occur. The symptoms last from 10 minutes to several hours, and usually are experienced on one or more of the following skin surfaces: Chest, back, arms or legs. While the exact cause of this condition is uncertain, some investigators suggest it is a result of extreme skin sensitivity (but not allergy) to an added ingredient (chlorine, fluoride, others) or mineral present in the water.

While cold urticaria also produces itching in affected individuals, it differs in that it often causes redness, pain and swelling of the unprotected skin after exposure to cold air or water. Even holding a cold drink may lead to swelling of that particular hand.  In fact, we often diagnose this condition by applying an ice cube against the skin of the forearm for three to five minutes. In unaffected individuals this would cause redness, but in those with cold urticaria a red, itchy and swollen area may appear within minutes after removal of the ice cube.