A MOTHER who developed a rare allergy to water after giving birth yesterday described the horrors of living with the condition.
Michaela Dutton is unable go outside when it rains, have a bath or shower, or cuddle her three-year-old son Mitchell when he cries.
The allergy, aquagenic urticaria, causes the 21-year-old’s skin to blister and itch when she comes into contact with even the slightest drop of water.
Ms Dutton, from Walsall, West Midlands, cannot even drink water because her throat swells up and instead lives on Diet Coke.
Aquagenic urticaria is a reaction to water which causes redness and weals on the skin. It is extremely rare and there is no known cure.
The condition is thought to affect a very small number of people worldwide.
Dutton, a full-time mother who lives with her parents, said: “If Mitchell falls asleep and dribbles on me it causes it to happen.
“It’s horrible, I cannot do anything. If I get in touch with water I get blisters and red marks all over my body.
“It feels like boiling hot water is being poured on me and I sit there scratching.”
She first noticed the blisters when she had a bath a week after giving birth to Mitchell in September 2005. She has had to limit bathing to once a week.
Nina Goad, from the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “We do not yet fully understand the precise mechanisms that trigger the weals.
“There is no know cure as yet and the precise causes remain unclear.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved