18-month-old toddler in US has rare allergy to water

Ivy Angerman from Minnesota  suffers from a rare disease known as aquagenic urticar. She develops allergic reactions such as hives and rashes whenever she comes into contact with water.
Ivy Angerman from Minnesota suffers from a rare disease known as aquagenic urticar. She develops allergic reactions such as hives and rashes whenever she comes into contact with water.PHOTO: GOFUNDME/IVYLYNN

A one-year-old toddler from the United States has developed a rare allergy to one of the basic components of life: water.

Ivy Angerman from Minnesota develops allergic reactions such as hives and rashes whenever she comes into contact with water, according to media reports.

The 18-month-old girl suffers from a rare disease known as aquagenic urticaria, which affects less than 100 people worldwide, reported British newspaper The Independent's online news site Indy100.

Ivy's condition was first noticed by her parents after they discovered that their daughter would develop allergic reactions after her bath time.

The couple initially suspected that their child was allergic to the soap or shampoo used. But even after eliminating the use of shampoos or soaps during Ivy's bath, she would still break out "in the worst blistery rashes".

In an interview with Indy100, Mrs Angerman said: "We even had tried bathing in different cities with different water systems with the same reactions. We basically had to eliminate any outside factors until we were down to just water as the cause of her reactions."

Apart from bathing, Ivy also develops allergic reactions if she sweats and is caught in the rain. Her diaper also has to be changed immediately after it is wet.

 

Mrs Angerman added that most people are shocked when they learn about Ivy's conditon, but understands that it "does sound pretty out there, to be allergic to water".

 

"It's very hard, as a mother, to see your child in pain. It's something that is always on your mind and no parent wants to see their child hurting," she told Indy100.

The exact cause of the condition is still unknown due to the lack of research and data available.

However, some experts have proposed that the reaction is caused by allergens in the water, or it could be an interaction between water and a substance found in or on the skin.

For Ivy's condition to improve, doctors have recommended that the family move to a new home with a purified water system and central air conditioning to reduce the severity of her allergic reactions.

The toddler also has to take medication a few hours before her twice-weekly baths.

Her parents Dan and Brittany Angerman have since appealed to the public on online crowdfunding site GoFundMe for help to finance the move and the child's research and medical expenses.

Since it was set up in February, the campaign has raised more than US$32,000 (S$41,900).