Hello Itchers. this is going to be a testimony of one who has been itching and scratching for a decade and has now overcome the ITCH!. This ITCH being caused by none other than Aquagenic Pruritus. I will try to keep it as short and to the point as possible but before i begin this story i would like to mention that if you are going to embark on the same journey that i have you should first consult your doctor. You must know that this is my personal story and i am not telling anyone to do what i did. I am just saying that I did it and it worked for me. I will not be held responsible if anything bad happens to you lovely people out there. Also i prefer to remain anonymous. thank you.
Now that that's over. This picture is a pretty a accurate representation of what i have been going through for the past ten years whenever any water touches me.
I was born a long time ago and was a physically normal child. nothing wrong with me at all. but then in my early teens something horrible started to happen. Every time i got out of the shower my arms and legs would itch slightly. Not a regular itch but a kind of prickly itch. I didn't think anything of it for a while because it was so slight and i figured I just had dry skin or something. Well as time went on this itch got worse and took longer to go away. It was getting annoying but it was still bearable. Then I noticed that I was getting itchy on my back whenever i would sweat. Not to long after that and the itch would happen when i went swimming and then when it rained. I started to believe i had the most sensitive skin on the planet and got organic no sulfate shampoo and conditioner and the same with soap and body wash, but nothing seemed to help. I started to frantically search the internet and every other kind of itchy allergic reaction came up except the one that fit my description. By this time, whenever i showered my skin would begin to itch from the end of the shower (i normally took quick showers about 10 min long) to 30-45 min after. This itch felt like someone was pinching every nerve in every extremity all at the same time and i had to scratch them all. This maddening panicked scratching would take over and all i could itch and scratch and cry in distress.
I was pretty embarrassed about this so it took me a while to go to the doctor. meanwhile i stopped swimming (which in my childhood i absolutely loved to do) and started to avoid water in any way possible. This problem started to really mess with my quality of life. After a while i realized that it was easier to take baths in very hot water. I would fill the tub with the hottest water possible and soak in it till it sort of cooked my nerve endings a little bit. Then when i got out of the tub i would not feel the itch so much until my skin went back to being uncooked. Being able to take only baths is a major inconvenience and if you don't believe me you just try it. Then if you think it can't get any worse guess again. This itch started to happen in the morning when I would get out of my nice warm bed and into the cold bedroom air (i always liked to leave my window open at night so by morning it gets a little chilly) and here comes the itch. WOW!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! This ridiculous thing started to take over my life completely. I felt like a leper.
Well i had finally had enough and decided to go to the doctor to see if he had any clue what this was. And of course he didn't however he did give me a referral to an allergy specialist. This guy scratched my arm with every thing that should of caused some histamine reaction and nothing happened. Then he went ahead and told me that it was probably in my head. I was to nice to tell him the thoughts that were going through my head about what he can do with his diagnosis.
A couple years went on and i suffered in silence with no one except my mom and my best friend knowing. This isn't something I wanted to advertise because 1. it sounds stupid, I mean who in the world is allergic to water and 2. you know people are going to judge you over something like this. Well I decided to go on the internet and research some more and i found this aquagenic pruritus thing that matched EVERY THING I HAD BEEN GOING THROUGH!!!
Aquagenic pruritus is a skin condition characterized by the development of severe, intense, prickling-like epidermal itching that is without observable skin lesions and that is evoked by contact with water
SO IT'S NOT IN MY HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Apparently i am allergic to water. VALIDATION. And with further research I come to find out that there is no cure for this illness but there are some treatments that could work. I decided to go back to my doctor and tell him what i found and he still didn't believe me or know whats wrong with me. This time he sent me to a dermatologist. I went to the dermatologist and told her all my symptoms and she immediately confirmed that it was indeed aquagenic pruritus and she said that this is very hard to control and began to set up a program. I was to take two strong antihistamines a day, one in the morning and one before i went to sleep. Then she also wrote me a prescription for some steroid cream and let me loos, I did what she said and I have never been so groggy and tired in my life. Two antihistamines? NO. And they didn't work anyways. and the steroid cream i was to put on right after i finished my shower but that stuff stank so bad and it barely took the edge off.
Finally after getting super frustrated with the whole situation I stopped the whole treatment and decided to go online to see if there was anyone else out there going through what i am going through right now, but i was not hopeful since apparently this is a very very rare condition (apparently). However I found a yahoo group forum thing with all kinds of people with this condition. I guess it's not as rare as they thought. Their main thing was sharing what kind of stuff worked for them. I dove in reading all their stories of their personal struggles and the kinds of things they tried that seemed to help them. Many were prescribed the same kind of steroid and antihistamine regiment i was and they too said it barely helped. Then I started to stumble across some people that were saying that sun tanning helped which i never herd before. And then i stumble across some guy saying that he took 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day for a month and he was able to get rid of this. GHASP! if sunlight and vitamin D are things that help then this must be the Vitamin D Issue.
This really got me thinking about my childhood because i know i was always out side as a kid and i always got plenty of sun. Then i realized that when i started to get itchy it started in middle school when i would stay mostly inside. To understand whats going on here you need to know that your body gets vitamin D in two ways. Absorbing it from food through the gut and from sunlight. If this problem is a lack of vitamin D then there is a glimmer of hope at last because there might be a chance to get this mess under control.
So finally I got myself some Vitamin D supplements and mine were 5,000 IU (International Units). I took these pills, one a day for a few weeks and i can not believe it. IT WORKED!!! NO MORE ITCH!!!!! I was going around the house telling my mom every five minutes "Hey! Guess what. I TOOK A SHOWER AND I DIDN'T ITCH!!!! This is like a miracle has happened in my life. Over ten years i have been dealing with this debilitating condition and the solution for me was as easy as Vitamin D. I am starting to think that my gut doesn't absorb Vitamin D like it should from food. I know i have a lot of gut problems because i am also allergic to gluten. But i guess if i flush my system with as large a quantity of Vitamin D as i have, some finally seems to get in there.
I have been able to shower without consequences for about five days now and i couldn't wait to get this on the internet. I am finally a free human being. I can walk around in a cold atmosphere with a tank-top on and my shoulders don't get itchy anymore. I can take showers and not itch. I can't wait to go swimming this summer. My options are now seemingly endless.
I would now like to re-mention that this was just my story and if you want to do this you should do it with doctor supervision. That being said if you do embark on this journey (with doctor supervision) i would love to here how it goes for you as well. I plan on calling my dermatologist and telling her what happened so that maybe if she has other patients and since she is a professional she can help them out. Please let me know of your stories if you struggle with what i had gone through. My email on here isn't really the one i want to use. If you would like to contact me and tell me in private what your story is email me at
Or if you want to comment here than you may also do that. Thank you for reading this and best of luck.
One more thing really quick though. If i didn't have enough Vitamin D in my system all these years then i didn't absorb the calcium i need because you need Vitamin D to be able to absorb calcium into your bones, ligaments, joints etc. This makes sense because i have always had these weird ligament problems. it felt like they were too loos and would get stuck or caught on the anatomical stuff around them. That probably sounds weird and confusing but if you have this then you know what i am talking about. Any ways this should get better as well if this is what i have been missing. Can't wait to see how my body continues to improve and again let me know of your stories as well.