Water is the most universal liquid on Earth and is the stuff of life. We literally wouldn’t exist without water; we have come to depend on such a resource. For one woman, however, water is the plague. That’s because she’s allergic to water… of all the other things she could have been allergic to instead.
To say that 21-year-old Niah Selway from Hastings, East Sussex, UK is unlucky is an understatement. From the day she was born, she’s had Aquagenic Pruritus or is allergic to water in layman’s terms. It’s not just external water sources Selway is allergic to– even her sweat and tears trigger her allergy; a single drop on her skin can give her body an intense burning sensation for hours:
Oddly enough, Selway’s internal organs are unaffected, meaning she can still drink water through straws and hydrate herself. Once it comes in contact with her skin, however, the problem begins. Worse still, medical experts are puzzled why such a rare condition exists as it only affects a handful of people worldwide.
“I am suffering in a really severe way, and no medication or treatment has had any substantial effect. 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,” explained Selway.
By any standard, Selway’s condition is a disability. If she ever gets stressed or experiences any pain because of it and cries, it can lead to even more pain and stress. As such, Selway has come to terms with the fact that she cannot work a normal job nor can she have any kids.
Selway runs her own YouTube channel and is known online as the “girl who is allergic to water.” So far, the doctors have yet to find a cure or solution for Selway’s plight, still, she somehow gets by every day.
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