Learning more about allergy to water

Aquagenic urticaria is the strangest disease with which modern medicine has met. The pathology consists in an allergy to water, the person affected by this condition is covered by hives, the affected zone is swelled and all the symptoms are accompanied by itching which can be sometimes beyond all bearing. The mechanism that triggers this allergy is also very curious. It seems to be that persons affected by this type of urticaria have developed an antigen under the skin of the body that is hydrosoluble (which means soluble in water).

The antigens are agents that activate the functions of the immune system of the body, when they are dissolved; the faculty of defense disappears and emerges the undesired reaction that has been described.

Water dissolves the antigen, overcomes the barrier of skin and forces cells to release histamine which are the responsible for the emergence of hives. The people affected by this condition make of the experience of taking a bath a whole challenge. Normally they use for this purpose substances without water and which are not aggressive for skin.

Urticaria has a variety of clinical presentations and causes; it is characterized for the emergence of erythematosus, transitory and edematous hives or plaques of different size. This is one of the most frequent dermatologic diseases. It is classified according the time of evolution, in acute (less than six weeks) or chronic (more than six weeks). It has been calculated that about twenty percent of world population is affected by acute urticaria. Among the physical triggers for this condition we can find thermal and mechanic stimuli, exercise, exposition to sunlight and water.

Aquagenic urticaria is a not so frequent type of urticaria of which there are not many cases around the world. It emerges as soon as the person enters in contact, at any temperature and in any circumstance. This condition was reported for the very first time in the year 1964. To investigate the clinical manifestation of Aquagenic urticaria it is used a water compress at a temperature of thirty five Celsius degrees over the skin for thirty minutes which determines the emergence of hives.

There is no much information about Aquagenic urticaria because it is extremely rare. There is no certainty of how many cases are in the world and the mechanisms that trigger this condition are not fully understood. The consequences intensity can vary, in some cases when the person skin is exposed to water big hives emerge on skin that take hours to disappear, they even are responsible for an intense itching. The person without the capacity of restraining the necessity of scratching the hive can scratch it so hard at the point of producing an injury.

Not only water can have incidence on the emergence of hives, the sweating of the person also can trigger to the emergence of these lesions producing a painful eruption. It is important in these cases to avoid situations when the perspiration can be stimulated.