Facts, Causes and Treatment
Water is an integral and essential source of life. As we cannot live without eating food, so is the case with water. We all need water for our survival. Considering all the domestic, industrial and other uses of water, no one can deny the vital importance of water. Most of the people are not aware of the fact that our bodies are mainly composed of water. A man of 150 lbs (70 kg) contains approximately 10-11 gallons (40 liters) of water in his body. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you suddenly become allergic to water? How would you feel like if you come back home after doing some hard task in a hot summer day and you are all sweating but you cannot take a bath? Obviously, this situation would irk you more than anything else. Although, this condition is rare, but still few people develop water allergy.
What is water allergy?
Water allergy occurs when a person becomes allergic to water i.e. he or she suffers from skin rash and itching when he comes into contact with water. Although, this condition can be called as “water allergy”, the medically used terminology is Aquagenic urticarial.
What causes water allergy?
Since our body contains water and we are totally dependent on water usage in one or another way, it is an established fact that it is not the water itself that causes allergic reaction. Here, you may have a question in your mind that what can cause an allergy then? If you look into the cases of water allergy, you would notice that most of the people who reported about suffering from this condition observed the symptoms of water allergy after swimming. Hence, researchers suggest that primary cause of water allergy is the presence of additives in water, such as chlorine, that is added to water for disinfection.
Similarly, when someone is complaining to develop water allergy after swimming, it indicates that chlorine may be the factor since chlorine is added to the water to kill the bacteria. However, it has been observed that common people fail to understand the real reason behind water allergy and they continue to experiment by changing soaps and body deodorants to get away with it.
How can water allergy affect me?
Water allergy is known to affect person’s skin and symptoms may become evident within few minutes after exposure to water. It is not merely associated with swimming as few people also develop water allergy after taking a bath or a shower. Symptoms include itching and skin rashes. Furthermore, skin may develop hives and affected person may experience pain during and after exposure to water. The pain may persist for few minutes to few hours. If someone is too sensitive to water, he or she may experience sore throat and shortness of breath while drinking water.
What are the treatment methods?
Since, water allergy is a rare condition, treatment methods are scarce. However, there are few medications that are instrumental in treating the affected skin such as Zostrix and Capsaicin cream. Capsaicin cream heals the irritated skin.
What can be recommended for avoiding water allergy?
We all have heard it, “prevention is better than cure”. The answer lies in the idiom itself. Dermatologists suggest that if you have a water allergy, you should reduce your exposure to chemicals that may present in water. Always drink purified water, in bottles or filtered. Use a water filter in you home for all drinking and cooking water. Use a shower filter to remove chlorine if skin rashes appear after a shower or a bath. Always remember that you may be breathing more chlorine during a shower, and shower filters eliminate this. In industrial areas where an “acid rain” is a suspect, avoid rain and always take an umbrella with your when you go out in a rainy season.
Furthermore, you can use anti-allergic medications and ointments / creams to temporarily treat skin hives. That is treating symptom, not the cause. Remember that it is best to identify the real cause and eliminate it.