What It Is Like To Be Allergic To Water? Here Are Real Life Accounts!

Water being a worldwide staple, gives an allergic reaction to less than 100 people all over the world. Here’s life through their eyes!

Mahima Girotra
people living with aquagenic urticaria

Water is something that is consumed in an unreasonable amount all over the world. Whether it is for your thirst craving, or to even wash your car, water is a staple item in every living life.

Can you imagine being allergic to something essential for a living? That is something we can’t imagine either, but for some people, their nightmare came true. Leading a different life, they are said to be allergic to water!

Can You Be Allergic To Water?

Affecting one in 200 million people, being allergic to water is a rare condition people suffer from. There are very less reports of this condition, but it is possible, even if the probability is very less.

Many cases occur even without a genetic family history and are often spotted at an early age like when they hit puberty.

From reports all around the world, there have been less than 100 cases of people being allergic to water. There is a very rare condition known as aquagenic urticaria (AU) where skin contact with water causes itchy, red hives, or swelling. In severe cases, it can cause wheezing or shortness of breath.

Everybody has their symptoms and can be dealing with a variety of them. Here are some life accounts of people living through this allergy, and facing severe difficulties.

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The 15-Year-Old Teenager Who Is Allergic To Water

The 15-year-old teenager, Abigail Beck, from Tucson in the US state of Arizona, was diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria in April 2022 after its symptoms first struck three years ago when she was 13 years old.

Abigail reported having felt acid-like when it rains. It feels the same when she goes for a shower. She is forced to wash only once in a couple of days.

Drinking water makes her vomit. She has not had a glass of water in more than a year. She has only been consuming energy drinks and/or pomegranate juice.

"My tears cause a reaction where my face goes red and burns badly. I cry like a normal person and it hurts. Tears are one of the worst parts of it because when you cry, your tears shouldn't burn your skin," she said to the Daily Mail. "When I tell people that I'm allergic to water, people think it's ridiculous and a lot of people are shocked by it. People always point out that our bodies are made up of water," she added.

Abigail now openly talks about her condition to raise awareness and educate people with hopes that they would be more understanding about it.

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The 21-Year-Old Girl Who Is Allergic To Water

allergic to water

Niah, 21, from Hastings, East Sussex, is yet another person who suffers from the rare condition of aquagenic pruritus. Niah Selway has severe reactions that a single drop of water can cause an intense burning all over her body that will last for hours.

She often fall-asleep from exhaustion after a reaction and has been left housebound.

Despite being under specialists for nearly four years, medical professionals are yet to find out the cause.

Even using the toilet first thing in the morning is one of the most painful experiences for her. Niah experienced her first reactions at the age of five, with them worsening through puberty and finally peaking over the last couple of years. The disease leaves her unable to carry out daily chores, which can be overwhelming at most times.

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