Allergic to water?!

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Ever since about 2010 I have been struggling with this itch which occurs when I come into contact with water. If I have a shower I can be guaranteed an unbearable itch within 5-15 minutes which will last anywhere from 30-120 minutes.. With baths the itch tends to be less severe, though oddly my thighs and forearms will often be the itchy only parts.

It occurs after hot water, cold water, hard water, soft water (my uncle has a water softener installed), sea water, river water. I have done the obvious and changed all of the products that I use, from shampoo, to shower gel, to washing detergent in case it is the towel when I dry.

I have tried different ways of drying, from towel drying, to air drying, to hair drying my whole body. With the air drying, I tried using no products in the shower and then air drying to see if anything was causing it, and I still got very itchy soon afterwards.

I have tried shower emollients, bath emollients, applying cream before washing, applying cream after washing, antihistamines of all shapes and sizes, and at one point was taking 4x180mg fexofenadine a day as prescribed by a private gp, but all to no avail.

To add to it, if I get too hot in the nighttime and I sweat then I, generally only my legs, get really itchy again. And when I said unbearable itch earlier, I mean to the point where, at its worst, I start writhing and itching and punching my own body where the itches are. It feels as if something is clawing at my skin from the inside. It's truly, honestly unbearable.

I have done a whole load of reading, as one would in this situation, and have always been pointed towards 'Aquagenic Pruritis'. I have tried vitamin D supplements and tried getting a lot of sun some years to see if it helps (again the Vitamin D idea) but again, all to no avail.

I should mention too: there is no redness. My skin looks completely normal when it is feeling itchy.

Side note in case anyone wants more info: I am extremely dermagraphic (according to the gps I have seen).

Any suggestions or thoughts, anyone? I will try anything at this point. A quarter of my life has been ruled by this and I would love to nip it in the bud, relative to a lifespan at least.

Please, and thank you!


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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Yeah, several things. Firstly you could be reacting to the chemicals in the water. Contact your water department and ask, things like fluoride, chlorine etc.

    You could also be allergic to Nickel in the pipes.

    Also, water itself is the wrong Ph for some skin, using diluted apple cider vinegar will correct this and people who find water makes them itch and sore usually find this stops those happening.

    You could also try filters.

    You say you tried different products, were they chemical free non toxic? Or did you simply try different ones that are still full of chemicals and toxins?

    Hope any of this helps

    God bless

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply!

      My uncle's water softener apparently removes most of the chemicals from the water, so I have assumed it's not that, thought that assumes a high effectivity.

      The products, indeed! Many hypoallergenic ones as well as no products at all.

      I haven't tried the vinegar suggestion though so will give that a try this evening, thank you!

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    • Posted

      Water softeners can be different types, some only solve the limescale yet leave all chemicals in, some remove some chemicals, etc. Also different ones work via different methods. Worth looking into which he has and trying others.

      The nickel would still happen from the pipes. Have you tried using a high quality (not every one is) bought water?

      Unfortunately hypoallergenic doesn't mean chemical free non toxic. In fact many are incredibly damaging and contain known allergens.

      It's worth trying one and following the 3 minute rule (assume you're aware, if you moisturise you're supposed to moisturise within 3 minutes of bathing/washing)

      Make sure you get the ratios correct with the apple cider vinegar, and don't wash or rub it off.

      I wasn't actually suggesting steroids as a treatment,just ruling it out as a cause, IE TSW. Although you said the skin isn't discoloured but thought it best to double check.

      You're most welcome, dermatologists are pretty useless even cause harm to many. Support groups and forums tend to actually help more.

      God bless

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  • Posted

    Quick question, have you ever used steroids?

    Or been tested for fungals etc? I know water of any kind will aggravate fungals and create such itches.

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  • Posted

    Ps no wonder

    What is DERMAGRAPHIC skin?

    That name is dermatographia urticaria, usually just called dermatographia or dermographism (literally "writing on the skin"wink. It's a type of "trauma-induced urticaria," but the trauma in this case can be almost nothing—basically an allergic reaction to minimal physical stimulation.

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    • Posted

      No fungals to report. Was coincidentally tested last month for that.

      I actually haven't ever been prescribed steroids, and the private dermatologist made no mention of them, so I came to assume that they couldn't help, though will mention it at my next appt.

      Yeah, the dermagraphism a couple of people said might have been one cause, specifically relating to towel drying, though given air drying has been tried and that produced the same results, I've also assumed it wasn't really related, but just included it here in case someone could make a link ??

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