Utah teen diagnosed with rare water allergy

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Utah Teen Diagnosed With Rare Allergy


If you think that peanut allergies are a pain, wait until you hear about this girl.

17-year-old Alexandra Allen of Mapleton, Utah is allergic to water. Doctors diagnosed her with aquagenic urticaria - a condition so rare that are only 50 known cases.

Allen had her first severe reaction to water at age 12 when she broke out in hives after swimming in a pool. Years later she came across a site that highlighted her symptoms to a tee and she decided to talk to a dermatologist.

Unfortunately, confirming the diagnosis meant she had to soak in a tub of water - something Allen described as torture.

She told ABC News, "[The doctor] brought in a few other doctors and they just sat around in awe."

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While aquagenic urticaria is not a true allergy, it causes severe allergy-like reactions and Allen says she avoids water at all costs. That means avoiding rain, snow, humid climates, sweating and even crying. She also says she can only take two to three short, cold showers a week.

There is no cure for the condition which is thought to be degenerative, meaning that it gets worse with time and repeated exposures. She says she expects that drinking water may become a problem at some point in the future. Allen told ABC News she's staying positive and joked that her condition gives her a pass on doing the dishes.

Some other unfortunate and rare life-threatening allergies include:

Solar urticaria - which is an allergy to the sun.

Dermographism - which causes your skin to become inflamed just by touching it.

And cold urticaria - a condition that causes the skin to react unfavorably to the cold.

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