Aquagenic urticaria, also known as water urticaria, is a rare form of physical urticaria in which any contact with water results in hives.
Almost one in 15 people will develop water urticaria at some time in their lives. Most often it affects teenagers or young adults.
The hives will usually develop within 15 minutes of contact with water, and usually last between 10 and 120 minutes. The hives usually resemble raised red wheals, and are surrounded by additional redness.
Sometimes the hives are the result of skin sensitivity to something in the water, such as fluoride, chlorine or another additive. Applying tap water and sterile distilled water to the skin, and observing the reaction can test this.
If the cause is sensitivity to an additive, then treatment is easy – stay clear of that chemical. If the water itself is causing the hives, then doctors will usually recommend using a steroid cream or antihistamine to treat the symptoms.
The goal of this treatment is to relieve the symptoms, and hope that the condition goes away by itself. There are no approved medications that will cure water urticaria, and there is no guarantee that they will go away on their own. There is only hope.
There are two problems with this approach: First – these medications are not a cure, they only treat the symptoms. Second – is that steroids and antihistamines can have severe side effects. They are not intended for long-term use.
For this reason, many people look into alternative and natural treatments. Natural treatments have no dangerous side effects, and for many people, can be an effective treatment for water urticaria.
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If you have any questions about hives, please write to us. If you need more information about the causes of water urticaria, please let us know.