Your favorite Biology blogger, Monoseanaride, is here to educate biology lovers all across the globe on Aquagenic Urticaria, also known as, the allergy to water. This is a special that you do not want to miss out on.
Aquagenic Urticaria (AU) is an extremely rare disease that causes an allergic reaction when coming into contact with water. This allergic reaction includes urticaria forming on the area where the water came into contact with the skin. This disease is mostly found in women, and the symptoms usually begin at the onset of puberty.
Aquagenic Urticaria (AU) was first discovered by Shelley and Ramsey back in 1964 when they reported three cases. One case was a 19-year-old boy who had reported multiple episodes of urticaria. The second case was a four-year-old boy who suffered from the same symptoms as the 19-year-old man. Both patients suffered from pinhead-sized wheals around their bodies. Neither patient had any reaction from ingesting water, after multiple experiments, it was concluded that this reaction was caused by the water touching the surface of the skin. There was no case report on the third initial case discovered. Since these initial findings, fewer than 100 cases have been reported since.
Symptoms and Treatment-
The symptoms of AU include an itchy and painful rash after coming into contact with water. The rash is most commonly found on the neck, arms, and chest. The rash can form within minutes of coming into contact with water. Symptoms begin to fade after drying off in 30-60 minutes. In extreme cases symptoms can ensue on the digestion of water, these symptoms could include: wheezing, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, and a rash around the mouth. There is no official cure for AU. In the original diagnosis of AU doses of Fexofenadine were prescribed to help alleviate symptoms. Now antihistamines are given to help reverse the allergy-induced effects of AU.
This reaction is caused by the release of a chemical called histamine the chemical responsible for fighting off the symptoms of an allergic reaction. There is no evidence as to where this disease originated, but there are two theories. Some scientists believe that a substance dissolved in water enters the skin and causes the hives. This theory the scientists believe that it is an allergen in the water, rather than water itself causing the hives. The second theory posits that interaction between water and a substance found in, or on our skin creates a toxic material, which leads to the hives. It is unsure whether or not the disease can be inherited. In most cases AU is appeared sporadically, although there have been familial cases discovered, such as this one family who was passed through three generations.
Why Water is necessary for human life-
The human body is made up of about 60%, the brain and heart are made up of about 73% water, the lungs are made up of about 83% water, the skins and muscles are made of 64% water, and the bones are made up of about 31% water. Water is essential for animals and plants for reasons more than to quench thirst, or to shower, but rather because it is known as the universal solvent. Water is notorious for its capabilities to dissolve many different molecules. That’s not all though, water is used for many things such as aiding cell transport, cellular structure, and even is part of multiple chemical reactions such as photosynthesis in plants, and dehydration synthesis, a chemical reaction that helps connect monomers to make polymers, in animals. Water helps the folding of amino acids inside the cell. Water is also seen going through the cell membrane in a process called Osmosis, a process that spreads water to areas of high concentration and obtains equilibrium.