You May Be Allergic To Water If This Happens To You

The average human is made up of 60% water. Within the body, some organs hold a lot of water, while other body parts hold very little, according to Medical News Today. For example, while your brain and kidneys are made up of 80% to 85% water, your teeth are only made up of 8% to 10% water. You might wonder why the body needs to contain so much water. 

Water is what keeps your body healthy and in working order. According to Healthline, water helps manage your body temperature, gets rid of waste, and supplies vital nutrients and oxygen throughout your body. 

Inside your body, water is essential for your body to function properly. But did you know that some people have a skin allergy to water? Here's everything you need to know about a rare skin allergy that causes some people to break out in hives when they come in contact with water. 

Symptoms, management, and a true water allergy story

According to Healthline, water allergy — aquagenic urticaria — is a rare type of hives that forms on the skin when it comes in contact with water. Incredibly, this allergic reaction can occur with water from rain or snow, in addition to water from your own body — like sweat or tears. The condition is quite rare, with less than 100 reported cases.

The allergic reaction may appear in as little as 20 minutes after skin comes in contact with water, per Medical News Today. Your skin may appear red and inflamed. You might feel itchy or notice a burning sensation on the skin. Symptoms typically appear on the neck, torso, and upper arms, but generally ease up within 30 minutes to an hour (via WebMD).

There are a few ways to manage a water allergy. You can apply a cream to your skin to prevent contact. If you've already come into contact with water or are displaying symptoms, you can take an antihistamine, which is used for all types of hives.

One person, Rachel Warwick, recounted her experience with her water allergy to the British Broadcasting Company. She says, "The reaction makes me feel as if I've run a marathon. I feel really tired afterward so I have to go and sit down for quite a while." Warwick continues, "It's horrible, but if I cry my face swells up." When asked how she copes with the allergy, she said, "The truth is, you just have to suck it up and get on with it."