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07th Aug 2021

Woman who is allergic to water explains how she takes a shower

Kieran Galpin

Being allergic to water reportedly affects one in every 230 million people.

From sweat to your own child, the world of allergies is a complicated and vast one. TikTok user @niahselway knows this too well, as she lives with a rare allergy to water.

Aquagenic urticaria is a rare form of urticaria, a type of hives that causes a rash to appear after you touch the water. “With an allergy to water, having a wash is really difficult,” she said on TikTok.

“I’m starting out by taking my blood pressure and temperature, and then selecting my sensitive skin-friendly products.”

@niahselwayShowering with an allergy to water ? part 1 ##niahselway ##fyp ##aquagenicpruritus ##chronicillness♬ original sound – Niah Selway

“I’m taking this dry brush and rubbing it over my skin to exfoliate and get rid of some of the dead skin that builds up on my skin.

“Then I’m jumping in the shower – it usually takes around 5-10 minutes before the pain starts, but once it does, it can last anywhere up to three hours after the initial contact with water.”

“After I’ve dried off and moisturised my skin, I’m in a lot of pain. I literally just writhe around in my bed until the pain stops, and I start to feel exhausted,” she continues in the second video.

She is taking the time to bring awareness to this rare condition, informing her 77.5k followers despite numerous allegations that she is lying.

She has since started a GoFundMe page to help her afford private healthcare.

“So far, my treatment has been entirely provided by the NHS, which I am so eternally grateful for,” she wrote in the description.

“I am, however, reaching the point where they have exhausted their treatment options for my situation and quite honestly, it doesn’t feel like they have much belief that they can help me.

“I have a number of tests and routes I want to explore which remain unexplored despite asking my current doctors to investigate, which I believe will be looked at more closely and regularly by the private clinic I have in mind, who specialise in treatment for Pruritic conditions of the skin.”

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