The 25-year-old from Fresno, California, USA suffers from a rare skin disorder, aquatic urticaria.
She was diagnosed when she was eight years old, but over the years her condition worsened.
-I came out of the shower and I had big swellings on my skin. My scalp was bleeding,” Tessa Hansen-Smith tells the local TV station ABC 30.
It may occur during puberty
Before Tessa started showing symptoms, she could swim, shower, shower and drink water – without any problems.
The parents initially suspected that the eight-year-old could not tolerate shampoo, conditioner or soap.
However, this was not the case.
After several months of working with several skin specialists, Tessa’s mother was the first to begin to suspect she had the rare disorder aquatic urticaria.
“I felt guilty because I couldn’t have discovered the diagnosis earlier,” says Karen Hansen-Smith, who also works as a GP.
Watery urticaria is a form of physical urticaria (hives). This condition affects women most often, and symptoms often appear in early adulthood. The actual cause of this condition is unknown. This is according to the official American website Rare diseases.
I can’t stand the sweat and tears
People with aquatic urticaria are allergic to water – either on the skin or in the throat.
If Tessa drinks water, she feels a burning sensation in her throat and body. So she drinks almost only milk, ABC 30 writes.
Her sweat and tears can also cause skin pain. According to the American the people There are about 250 people in the world diagnosed with this disorder.
That’s why Tessa is now appearing in the media. She wants to talk about the “invisible illness” in hopes of helping others.
She also shares big and small daily problems on her Instagram profile Living without water.
– In the summer, when everyone goes to the beach and has pool parties, I have to stay at home. Tessa says this condition can be quite isolating, and she should avoid activities that make her sweat.
– I can reduce my body odor by shaving and using deodorant, says the 25-year-old.
But every now and then she has to resort to taking a shower. in Posted from June 2020 Tessa wrote that she showered four times in six months.
– At the same time as I shower, I try not to pass out while hyperventilating. Self-care isn’t quite as convenient as it is for others, says The American Instagram.
– Helps others
Recently, Tessa became so dehydrated that she had to be hospitalized. According to ABC 30, the 25-year-old suffered from ischemic colitis, an inflammation of the colon.
At the time of writing, she was on the road to recovery, the news site reported.
-I always think about how much easier and better life would be if I didn’t have a diagnosis. But I know I can’t do anything about it, other than focus on how to help others who are going through something similar, she said when she was a guest on the American talk show “Dr. Oz,” reproduced by ABC 30.
Theresa Lovold Berntz, a physician specializing in dermatology and venereology, told the magazine K In 2018, the diagnosis is made through a comprehensive medical history and provocation test.
This arousal test is performed by applying a compress with water at a temperature of 35 to 37 degrees. After twenty minutes, the test is evaluated, Berntz explained.
Since the condition is rare, there is no cure for hydrourticaria either. So Tessa Hansen-Smith takes antihistamines to relieve the rash.
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