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Allergy

Question
Posted by: Loraine | 2019/02/06

Q.

Seawater and lakes

Hi there! I don't know why I didn't google this topic before. I think it's ok for me to say I'm allergic to sea water, since I was 15yrs I have had reactions and now I'm 26yrs and it still happens. I thought I was crazy and everyone I tell thinks I'm crazy too. I get hives by seawater by just being splashed or even touching a lightly wet seashell and even wet sand. Last time it was so bad I felt my whole body was on fire and the sad part was that not even showering took it away, only taking 2 tablets of 25mg Benadryl is what made it slightly go away. It's brutal and mind blowing because I grew up on an island learning to swim in seawater at 5yrs, the ocean was a huge part of my childhood and now I can't enjoy what once was a lifestyle I get to sit on the sand and watch everyone have a dip and be careful of little kids running around splashing water everywhere. But going to my question I moved from the island and now I live in the USA and we have a couple of lakes nearby and I get symptoms in one lake but none in the other. I've always wondered what would they have in common that I get those reactions? Is algae something that could be part of the problem?

Expert's Reply

A.

Allergy expert
- 2019/02/13

It seems unlikely that you would be allergic to sea water as the salt isn't an allergen and the fish or algae wouldn't impart enough allergen into the water to cause a reaction. Aquagenic Urticaria (allergy to all water) is extremely rare (less than 100 cases have ever been reported).  You may have Cold-induced urticaria when the wet skin cools rapidly and causes urticaria outbreaks or Cholinergic urticaria, perhaps from exercising (for example swimming) and then sweating afterwards when out of the water.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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