An 18-month-old little girl from Minnesota has a rare water allergy where crying makes her face swell up and a bath even for 15 seconds causes blisters, rashes, and hives, subjecting the toddler to extreme pain.
Aquagenic Urticaria Explained
The child, Ivy Angerman, used to have a lot of fun when it’s time for a bath, but something suddenly changed. Her parents noticed she developed rashes during bath time. They thought the rashes were from the laundry detergent, her diet, or the water. They tried to eliminate products one by one and even went to hotels and the houses of other family members to see if different bath water still made the toddler develop rashes.
In October, doctors found out that she had a condition called aquagenic urticaria, which causes her to break out in hives when she is exposed to water.
This rare water allergy usually develops during the teenage years; the toddler may be the youngest person to be diagnosed with it.
Brittany Angerman, the child’s mother, can’t believe that her daughter has this condition. Direct exposure to water is not the worst problem, however.
Brittany relays that the toddler can’t play in the snow or dance in the rain since a few drops of water can cause an outbreak. The allergic reaction can be as short as 15 minutes and as long as an hour. Antihistamines make reaction time shorter.
“She used to love the bath and now she’s screaming bloody murder when we have to wash her. It feels like a third-degree burn. She runs around screaming that she’s hot. It’s so hard to watch as a mother.”
The worst part is that there is no other way to ease the child’s suffering aside from antihistamines. The toddler has to take the medicine twice a day, but she’s starting to get immune to it.
The child’s parents have tried to make adjustments but nothing works. Since they can’t avoid exposure to water at bath time, they just limit her outdoor activities. Her baths have also been cut to twice a week.
Experts also suggest bathing and drinking purified water to help her condition. It may also help the toddler if she is in a climate-controlled home so she won’t overheat. To help their daughter, the couple is in the process of moving.
As reported by People, the toddler’s parents fear for her future. For now, direct contact with water triggers the reaction. However, Brittany fears she will develop an internal allergy.
Right now, Ivy breaks out when urinating after drinking juice and other products containing water.
“I wonder if one day her throat will start to swell up when she drinks it,” Brittany says. “We don’t know if she’ll be able to go to day care or what job she’ll be able to have in the future.”
Ivy’s parents have set up a GoFundMe page to help them care for their toddler.