WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- In an interview with Daily Mail, a college student from California shared about living with a condition called aquagenic urticaria, or an allergy that is caused by contact with water.
- The condition is extremely rare that only one person in every 230 million is affected.
- The student shares that she is even allergic to her tears, saliva and sweat and that drinking water even causes cuts to form on her tongue.
A California student afflicted with an ultra-rare allergy that affects one in every 230 million people has decided to speak out about her condition.
Tessa Hansen-Smith, 21, and a University of California-Davis student revealed in an interview with Daily Mail that she has been suffering from aquagenic urticaria since she was 8 years old. This is a condition where hives form after the skin comes into contact with water.
“It’s a really difficult condition to have as I’m even allergic to my own tears, saliva and sweat,” she told the publication, adding that she has to avoid physical activity due to her susceptibility to heat exhaustion.
According to the Mail, Hansen-Smith started manifesting symptoms by breaking out in a rash after every time she showers.At first, her parents thought she was allergic to certain soaps and shampoos. However, even after removing possible products that might cause her allergies, Hansen-Smith still had rashes.
Finally, after some research into her symptoms by her mother who is a family medicine doctor, she was found to have aquagenic urticaria.
To lessen the rashes, the college student told the Daily Mail that she used to take allergy tablets. At one point, she said she has taken 12 antihistamine tabs every day. Now, she takes nine. But since the condition gets worse with age, it doesn’t work for her anymore as it did before.
In addition, Hansen-Smith often suffers from muscle fatigue and nausea caused by eating water-based fruits and vegetables. Drinking water would even cause cuts on her tongue.
“I even have to be shuttled around my campus at college because otherwise I show up to my class with a fever, migraine and rashes making it really difficult to concentrate,” she continued.
Yet, Hansen-Smith told the Mail that she isn’t letting her condition get hold of her life, saying she takes things one day at a time because some days are better than others. She also said that every time she manages to see her friends and family or make it to all her classes in one day without having to leave early due to her condition, then “I see that as a win in my book.”