An 18-month-old toddler from Hastings, Minnesota may be the youngest person to have ever been diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, an extremely rare condition of being allergic to water.
The toddler, one of only 50 people worldwide with the condition, has her skin break out in painful blisters after being in the bath for just 15 seconds.
The Youngest Person Allergic To Water
Ivy Angerman was diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria in October last year. The condition means that she is allergic to water.
To be clear, Ivy is not extra sensitive to contracting waterborne diseases or catching parasites found in water. The 18-month-old toddler is sensitively allergic to water and breaks out to painful rashes and welts even from her own sweat and tears.
Doctors believe that Ivy is the youngest person to have ever been diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, as this rare condition usually affects people in adolescence.
"It's really hard, it breaks my heart, everything about it makes me upset," said 27-year-old mother Brittany, who is trying to teach Ivy that she should not cry or else her allergy will flare up. Brittany is worried about the future of Ivy, as she may miss out on activities that kids usually participate in, and may be bullied.
According to Ivy's mother, the family thought at first that Ivy was suffering from rashes and blisters from taking a bath due to the soap or shampoo that they were using it. They eventually realized that it was the water itself that was causing the allergic reaction, so they tried other forms of water, including city water and countryside water.
That was when doctors diagnosed Ivy with aquagenic urticaria.
Is There A Cure For Aquagenic Urticaria?
Ivy has been placed by doctors on antihistamines to try to reduce the allergic reactions. Doctors have also recommended for Ivy to stay in a home that has a central air system to prevent her from overheating, and for the toddler to only use purified water for both bathing and drinking.
However, considering the extreme rarity of the condition, there is not much information on the causes and treatment of aquagenic urticaria. For now, Ivy's family can only adjust their life according to the toddler's condition, while trying to raise money for her medical expenses and hopefully to also buy specialist equipment that may reduce the intensity of Ivy's symptoms.
"I just hope that someday she can drink water and be able to live a somewhat normal life," said Brittany.