Woman, 25, Is Allergic to Water: ‘My Scalp Would Be Bleeding After Showering’

Fresno Woman Is Allergic to Water
Tessa Hansen-Smith.Photograph:

Tessa Residing Waterless Instagram

A 25-year-old girl from Fresno is allergic to water, a uncommon situation that causes her to interrupt out in welts and hives — even from her personal tears and sweat.

“I might come out of showers and have big welts on my pores and skin, and my scalp could be bleeding after showering,” Tessa Hansen-Smith instructed ABC-30 about her allergy, Aquagenic Urticaria, which she developed when she was 8 years outdated.

The allergy “is a uncommon situation through which urticaria (hives) develop quickly after the pores and skin is available in contact with water, no matter its temperature,” the Nationwide Institute of Well being says. And whereas its causes are unknown, “it mostly impacts girls.” 

Her mother, Dr. Karen Hansen-Smith, is a household medication doctor and the primary one that realized her daughter had a water allergy — after years of testing by specialists. 

“I really feel slightly responsible as a mother for not having seen when she would get out of the bathe that she had hives, and figuring it out means earlier that it was a water challenge,” she instructed ABC-30.

Fresno Woman Is Allergic to Water
Tessa Hansen-Smith.

Tessa Residing Waterless Instagram

Tessa says if she drinks water, or eats something with a excessive water content material, she feels a burning sensation — so she largely drinks milk, as its water content material is counterbalanced by fat and proteins.

As for showering, she shared on Instagram that “I’ve cleaned my physique with moist towelettes designed for it right here and there, however even then these harm.”

Whereas she avoids actions that trigger her to sweat and explains “I can preserve physique odor to a minimal by shaving and utilizing deodorant the place applicable,” Tessa says that she does generally want a bathe regardless that “I don’t do an entire lot that makes me very soiled, as a result of I can’t.”

“Standing in a bathe for greater than 5 minutes, whereas additionally attempting to not go out as I hyperventilate whereas there’s water hitting me, is just not a calming self-care expertise like it may be for others,” she explains.

As a result of it’s such a uncommon sickness — it is estimated that lower than 250 individuals worldwide have Aquagenic Urticaria in accordance with the ABC report — Tessa says persons are usually skeptical, and attempt to check her allergy, as was the case when she was an undergrad at College of California’s Davis campus.

Fresno Woman Is Allergic to Water
Tessa Hansen-Smith.

Tessa Residing Waterless Instagram

“Once I did inform individuals about it in faculty, I might have individuals attempt to purposely splash water on me, or I might have individuals who would throw ice cubes at me,” Tessa stated.

She moved again house when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and managed her situation by staying largely indoors — till not too long ago, when she was so dehydrated she developed ischemic colitis, which the Mayo Clinic says occurs when “blood circulation to a part of the massive gut is briefly lowered.”

Whereas hospitalized for her ischemic colitis, Tessa skilled issues, explaining on Instagram that “this led to a number of superficial blood clots and at the least one deep blood clot in my proper arm.”

The hospitalization additionally left Tessa needing bodily remedy to get well — and left her household with staggering debt.

“We at the moment are struggling to pay my medical payments and make ends meet,” she wrote in a GoFundMe established to assist pay their present and future prices.  

And whereas she’s defined on Instagram that “I’m not getting any more healthy as a result of my situation simply progresses,” Tessa remains to be seeking to the longer term and hopes to turn into a nurse. 

“I hope that I can return to highschool once more, I hope that I can get a job once more,” she instructed ABC-30. 

“I hope that I can form of discover a sense of normalcy in life once more.”

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