What is water sensitivity? How is it diagnosed and treated?

2023-07-10 2023-07-10T07:32:13Z
طقس العرب
طقس العرب
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Weather of Arabia - What is the sensitivity of water? And what are the reasons for its occurrence? What are the symptoms that may appear on a person with a water allergy?

Aquagenic urticaria

It is a rare condition that causes a rash to appear after the skin is exposed to water, even when it comes into contact with water containing salt only, through an allergic reaction. Scientists are still unable to find a clear explanation for the reasons for its occurrence.

The symptoms of water allergy are similar to those of other allergies and skin rashes, and women are more susceptible to this allergy, and water allergy symptoms often begin to appear with the onset of adolescence.

And because there are few cases of water allergy registered medically around the world, the available medical information on this condition is scarce.

Symptoms of a water allergy:

Symptoms of water allergy begin to appear 20-30 minutes after the skin comes into contact with water, and the following are the symptoms that are expected to occur after such contact:

  • rash:

It is characterized by the appearance of swellings in the hair follicles located in the skin, surrounded by redness that extends for a distance of 1-3 centimeters in the circumference of the swelling.

The rash appears most often on the skin in the torso, which is the upper half of the body, or in the upper arms, and rarely on the soles of the hands or feet. The rash often spreads to other nearby areas of the body that have not been exposed to water.

  • Itchy skin.
  • A kind of burning sensation in the skin.
  • tingling in the affected area;

Symptoms often disappear after removing the skin from the source of the water that caused the allergy for a period of approximately 30-60 minutes.

It was also noted that the symptoms of water allergy are local symptoms that usually appear only in the affected skin area, and it is rare for this allergy to cause systemic symptoms, such as: shortness of breath.

The severity of symptoms of water allergy may vary from person to person, depending on the following factors:

  1. Water salinity: There are some cases in which it is observed that normal tap water causes symptoms of water allergy, while sea water or salt water does not cause any symptoms. This may be due to the different concentration of salt in different waters.
  2. Skin health: It has been shown that an allergic reaction may be more severe if a person with a water allergy has pre-existing skin conditions. For example, if the skin is exposed to a substance that causes part of the outer layer of the skin to melt, this may increase the severity of the person's symptoms.

However, it should be noted that these factors are not an established rule, and the response to a water allergy may vary between people. Some people may be hypersensitive to water regardless of these factors, while others may have a lesser response to it.

Although the exact cause of water allergy has not been clearly identified by scientists, there are some proposed hypotheses that are still being researched and studied. Here are some of these hypotheses:

  • Certain substances in water: Some scientists believe that the cause of water sensitivity may not be the water itself, but rather some of the substances present in the water. When these substances enter the skin along with water, they may trigger an immune system reaction, resulting in symptoms of a water allergy.
  • Water interaction with a substance found in the skin: Other scientists believe that the cause of water allergy may be the interaction of water with a certain substance present in the skin. This reaction produces a toxin that stimulates the immune system and triggers an allergic reaction to it.

However, it must be noted that these hypotheses are still just assumptions, and need more study and research to confirm their validity and clarify the exact mechanisms of water sensitivity.

Diagnosing a water allergy:

  1. Medical history: The infected person is questioned to find out his medical history and whether he has ever had skin allergies when exposed to water in the past.
  2. Probe water test: An excitatory water test is performed to confirm the diagnosis of water allergy. This test involves applying pure water to the skin affected by a water allergy and observing the skin reaction to determine whether allergy symptoms such as rash, redness and itching appear.
  3. Differential Diagnosis: A differential diagnosis is performed to ensure that symptoms associated with hives are not due to other forms of allergic urticaria. This is done by examining the patient for sensitivity to other possible urticaria triggers such as salt-induced urticaria, dermographism, solar urticaria, and localized thermal urticaria.

Determining the correct diagnosis of water allergy requires consulting a dermatologist or allergist. A doctor can evaluate a person's medical history and perform the necessary tests to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible diseases.

After a diagnosis of water allergy, there are some treatments and medications that may help relieve allergy symptoms. Among these treatments:

  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines are one of the traditional remedies to fight allergies. They help reduce allergy symptoms such as redness and itching by blocking the effects of histamine in the body.
  • Protective ointments: Some ointments can help create a barrier layer on the skin that protects it from the effect of water. For example, petroleum jelly can be used to form a protective barrier between the skin and water.
  • Light therapy: In some cases, light therapy can help reduce the symptoms of a water allergy. This includes exposure to ultraviolet (UV) or visible light specifically to relieve symptoms and soothe the skin.

However, it should be noted that the lack of recorded cases of water allergy made it difficult to assess the effectiveness of the treatments and medications mentioned. Therefore, a specialist doctor should be consulted to determine the appropriate treatment according to the patient's condition and severity of symptoms.

Water allergy should be managed with caution and appropriate precautions taken, such as avoiding water as much as possible and using protective ointments. It is also recommended to see a doctor regularly to assess and follow up the condition of a person with water allergy.

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
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