Allergic to water: a rare diagnosis

“Allergic to water” is a rare anomaly that occurs in 1 in 230 million skin diseases. Usually even two or three drops of the stimulus, it is sufficient that the person began to experience pain.

Any Allergy is intensified response of the body to external stimuli. Allergy occurs when the immune system perceives the individual substances like the usual for most people as foreign agents and produces these antibodies, which doctors call immunoglobulin E. Allergy to Manifest itself in different ways: it can be itching, rash, cough, sneezing, runny nose, swelling, asthma attacks and the like.

The cause of allergies?

If we talk about water, it is more likely that an Allergy does not arise out of the water and the impurities that are often present in it, for example, chlorine or mineral salts.

Since the human body consists of 80% water, which is present in every cell of our body, participating in all its chemical reactions, and is contained in blood plasma, it is possible to infer that allergic to water is impossible, otherwise it would have had lethal consequences. The man immune system which suddenly begins to produce antibodies to the molecules of water to live could not. Therefore, various skin reactions to water and the substances containing in its composition, can not be called “allergies” in the scientific sense. However, the scientists have made this disease a special name – aquagenic urticaria (marine urticaria).


The most famous case of “allergic to water” was in the Australian Ashley Morris. Upon contact with water the girl’s body is covered with red spots, which cause intense itching. Often Ashley roscuro them to the blood, and in two hours the rash disappears. One can only imagine how hard Ashley to take a shower, and she still had to do it to maintain personal hygiene. Under running water, the girl is no more than a minute.

This anomaly of the girl not from birth. Somehow Ashley was diagnosed with acute tonsillitis. When she was 14 years old. Doctors prescribed her treatment with penicillin, which caused an adverse reaction by changing the content of histamine in the blood. The girl had completely change your lifestyle. A young Australian woman stopped to play sports and was always carry an umbrella. In addition, Ashley couldn’t be in the heat or in stuffy rooms without air conditioning, because the skin even react to her own sweat.


So, the characteristic symptoms of “allergic to water” is:

  • the appearance of small bubbles resembling the rash of urticaria
  • red spots around bubbles
  • severe itching
  • sometimes the burning and pain on the irritated areas of the skin

The reason for the reactions is skin contact with water of any origin :

  • water, sea, river, distilled water
  • moisture
  • pair
  • sweat
  • tears

Some people have the rash and itching are fast (approximately 10-15 minutes), others can last several hours or even days. Some experts attribute the onset of the disease with irritation of the small nerve endings.


First exclude the possibility of exposure to other allergens. To do this, the patient is questioned about his lifestyle and about the features of his food, wondering what drugs he is taking, find out whether there are similar allergic reactions and diseases at relatives.

If the probability of other diseases is excluded, the patient is administered the test. The patient applied a compress of water and keep it for half an hour. The water temperature should be 35 degrees. If there is a reaction – diagnosed as “marine urticaria”.

3-5 days before the test the patient is asked not to take antihistamines.

Treatment and prevention

  • Limit any contact with moisture.
  • Sometimes it helps to use for personal hygiene only cooled to room temperature boiled water.
  • Take antihistamines (but not always help, because marine urticaria has Realengo nature).
  • Prior to contact with water, you can apply moisturizing creams or ointments containing corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory hormones in the adrenal cortex).

If to speak about cases when “Allergy” occurs in response to long-term use of drugs, as was Ashley Morris, it is a “cosmetic” treatment is unlikely to help. Recovery of metabolism external methods, unfortunately, does not bring the desired results. So the whole hope is that scientists may in the near future will find the causes of such diseases and develop appropriate treatments.