While kissing is the most normal thing in the world for most couples, for 28-year-old Kerrie Armitage, it is anything but normal, as saliva causes her to swell up in hives due to a rare condition she suffers from.
The mother-of-three from Leeds in the UK has what is called aquagenic urticaria, a type of allergy to water, which she was diagnosed with following a rainstorm, which led to her first hives outbreak.
In explaining what happens when her hubby Peter gives her a peck on the cheek, Kerrie explained, “Because Peter’s lips are wet, the saliva can make me react. He’s got to make sure his lips are dry before he gave me a kiss. It’s not every time – I can do the same thing time and time again and not react, but then I’ll do it once more and get a flare-up”
Her allergy to water is so severe that Kerrie can’t even hug her children as their body heat and sweat can lead her to an outbreak, having trained herself not to cry for the very same reason.
Kerrie explained further, “If Peter was to give me a kiss on a hot day when I’m flushed, I’d probably flare up, but maybe not if I was in a cool environment. It can be frustrating but he’s really supportive. After years together, it’s become normal. You learn how to get used it. But it can be bothersome.”
As a result of her condition, Kerrie must bathe in under 10 minutes to minimize the hives, “I’ve found the closer the water is to body temperature the faster I react, so I have really hot baths to try lessen the reaction. I also don’t drink cold water – it feels quite sharp at the back of my throat – so I stick to coffee,” she said.
Due to the extent of the condition, Kerrie has to complete a daily checklist to ensure she has done all she can to avoid allergic reactions to water. As she explained, “Before leaving the house I have to ask myself if I can get to the bus stop or if it’s too far and likely to trigger my reactions. I have to check if it’s going to rain and make sure I have back-up clothing in case I get too hot or too cold.”
[Image credit: imgkid.com]