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22 May 2024

Woman is allergic to water

Photo: Bang

By Bang

A young mother has developed an allergy to water.

Cherelle Farrugia, from Cardiff, has admitted she was "borderline suicidal" after painful blisters started erupted on her skin, every time she came into contact with fluid, just six weeks after giving birth to her daughter Willow in November last year.

She said: "About six weeks after having my daughter I realised that every time I got out of the shower my skin would be really itchy.

"I initially thought it must be caused by the soap I was using. Then I thought it was the temperature of the water. But I tried all different temperatures - cold, hot, lukewarm and body temperature - but my body reacted to all of them.

"I was still reacting to everything but I didn't think it could possibly be a water allergy. I'd never heard of such a thing. The first doctor I saw told me it was impossible but the second doctor I saw had heard of it and referred me to an allergist."

Doctors took three months to diagnose Cherelle with aquagenic urticaria, a condition which is known to affect just 35 people worldwide, and she now has to make sure someone is around when she showers in case she goes into anaphylactic shock.

Although she now has a diagnosis, Cherelle has admitted she developed postnatal depression as a result of the allergy and wouldn't let anyone touch her daughter.

Speaking to the MailOnline, she said: "It was horrific and it hit me out of nowhere. I was borderline suicidal. I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't leave the house, and I was convinced something was going to happen to my daughter. I wouldn't get anyone hold her. But I am very fortunate to be super close to my mum and dad and my partner is amazing. I have OCD so this condition is a nightmare for me as I always want to be clean. I make sure I dry the water off my skin really quickly."