Water makes up about 70 percent of our planet. Although the substance is crucial to survival, for a small percentage of humans, water actually poses a dangerous threat to their well-being.
According to the National Institute of Health, aquagenic urticaria, a rare form of urticaria (hives), causes sufferers to break out in rashes and hives when their skin comes into contact with water in any form. Whether it be from drinking, rain water, or bath time, until the water source is removed, those with the allergy will be covered in itchy and painful welts.
The disease usually strikes those in their teenage years; 18-month-old Ivy Angerman may be the youngest person to have acquired the dangerous allergy, according to KMSP.
As a result, bath time is a dangerous ordeal for the toddler. The allergy causes Ivy to break out in “severe hives and rashes.”
Ivy’s mother, Brittany, took cellphone footage of her daughter post-water exposure in order to show the immediate reaction to doctors. In the video above, the toddler can be heard crying while the camera pans on her blistering leg. Doctors told the Angermans that Ivy can only be in water for approximately 15 seconds before her skin starts reacting.
The Angermans are doing everything in their power to help their daughter. They go through a strict regimen to bathe and feed Ivy, filtering water in a climate-controlled home to ensure the water is completely purified. In addition, because the current family home was built in 1901, the Angermans are in the process of moving out and into a newer and safer home with central air that “will prevent her from overheating.”
While anti-histamines help ease her symptoms, doctors are unsure of the long-term effects of such a rigorous anti-histamine regimen.
Doctors have told the Angermans that Ivy’s condition isn’t expected to improve and may even worsen as she grows older. Brittany puzzled aloud about her daughter:
“Is she ever going to be able to go to daycare? Is she ever going to be able to go to public school? Is she able to ever go in the ocean? I don’t know.”
She added that:
“I just hope that someday she can drink water and be able to live a somewhat normal life.”
In the same vein, her husband, Dan, agreed, adding: “As a father, it absolutely breaks your heart.”