YouTube star allergic to water, left with 'burning skin' when she cries or sweats.
Summary: She has aquagenic pruritus, a rare disorder making her severely allergic to water.
(Instagram / Niah Selway)
A 21-year-old YouTuber Niah Selway, cannot cry, sweat or bathe else she develops painful rashes on the skin for hours at a stretch. She has aquagenic pruritus, a rare disorder making her severely allergic to water.
The YouTuber revealed she develops rashes which cause her 'body to burn for hours' every time her skin comes into contact with water. She often passes out from exhaustion following a reaction due to the condition which has no known cause and is difficult to diagnose, reported Daily Mail .
"It doesn't matter where the water touches me if a drop touches my arm the pain will spread to my back and torso, sometimes to my whole body. When I have a bath my whole body burns for hours on end," said Selway adding her condition has left her housebound. But fortunately, her organs are not affected by the disorder, meaning she is still able to drink water.
Selway noticed her first reactions at the age of five, the symptoms only got worse as she got older. "Initially it would happen about every ten showers. The doctors weren't showing any concern for it, so I thought maybe I am just not good at dealing with pain. Then in my teens, it became every single shower or bath, and it got to the point where I wasn't able to ignore it," the video blogger added.
"I am suffering in a really severe way, and no medication or treatment has had any substantial effect. It is basically a disability because of the things I can no longer do. In the morning I get to the toilet and I'll have an allergic reaction," Selway said adding that the disorder forced her to quit her job at an insurance company.
"I also can't do much exercise apart from yoga and walking because I can't sweat, and on hot days I'll have to be stuck in front of the fan. The thought of rain is also terrifying, so I never go outside if there's the chance it's going to rain," Selway added. Her most treasured memory was scuba diving in Tenerife in 2013 as she cannot do it anymore due to her allergy. "A lot of plans from my bucket list were water-related things, like swimming with sharks," she added.
Dr Adil Sheraz, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, said, "Aquagenic pruritus is an uncommon and distressing condition that results in severe itching almost immediately after contact with water. Underlying causes remain unknown, theories proposed include breakdown of mast cells that lead to histamine and thus an itch. Although this is an uncommon condition it is probably under-reported and misdiagnosed."
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