Dealing with aquagenic urticaria

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Aquagenic urticaria a form of physical hives due to when the person comes in direct contact with the water and cause pain and itchiness. This condition develops without any external agents or due to temperature of the water. Women and children in their puberty stage are more susceptible to this condition.

The allergy develops within a minute or after fifteen minutes after a contact with water. It lasts for at least 10 or up to 120 minutes. People with aquagenic urticaria can still drink water, but develops allergies in and around the mouth.

Causes of aquagenic urticaria

  • Exposure to hot or cold water and reaction is severe if there is presence of chlorine or fluorine in the water. Hot water speeds up the development of hives in the affected area.
  • Bathing and walking in the rain
  • Water spilled on the body
  • Sweating and crying
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Diseases including polymorphous, HIV infections, cholinergic urticarial and Bernard-Saulnier syndrome
  • The skin mast cells that becomes weakened interferes with water to produce sensation in the skin.
  • Sometimes, histamine causes burning sensation and itchiness in the skin due to the reaction of the tissues on the surrounding water.


The skin begins to itch or develop a rash or hives after exposure to the water. They usually develop within the first 15 minutes and proceeding hours the lesions eventually causes severe pain and formation of blisters. In severe cases there will be wheezing, difficulty in swallowing or other respiratory conditions. The throat is swelling after drinking water. The eyes become sore and dry after taking a shower.


  • Take the prescribed oral antihistamines to lessen the effects of the allergy on the skin.
  • Use the prescribed epinephrine to lessen the appearance of cutaneous vasodilation and prevent mast cell degranulation due to the condition.
  • Use the prescribed capsaicin cream to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Apply an emulsion cream to protect the skin from exposure to water especially when cleansing or engaging aquatic activities.
  • Use umbrella or wear protective clothing to prevent contact with water and possibility of an outbreak.
  • Minimize swimming or visiting a water parks to lessen the risk of an outbreak.
  • Before showering apply emulsion creams or petrolatum to the body to lessen the symptoms


  • Stay away from triggers that includes pet dander, rain, insect stings, latex and foods that cause allergy.
  • Wear cotton clothes that are smooth textured, loose to prevent irritation on skin and worsen the condition.
  • Cover with bandage affected areas of the body and minimize contact with water for a long time.
  • Take prescribed supplementary vitamins is good for the condition.
  • During summer avoid sweating, keep the body cool.
  • Avoid performing any physical activities, keep the body clean and use natural or chemical-free products.
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