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USA: A teenage girl newly diagnosed with a rare water allergy affecting just one in every 230 million people has revealed taking showers can feel like “being doused in gasoline and set on fire” – and she can’t even cry at the pain because her own tears bring her out in agonising hives.

Just four months ago, Sadie Tessmer, 14, was diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, a condition which causes a person’s skin to develop red itchy hives after exposure to water, and could be life-threatening if she suffers a bad enough reaction.

When the teen first began to turn bright red or pass out after taking a shower, Sadie’s mum Amber Sallee, 37, from Buffalo, Missouri, US, initially thought the water was too hot and even joked she might be allergic to getting washed.

But following a visit to her dermatologist in May 2022, Sadie – who has a brother, Bradley, 17, and two sisters, Kasie, 15, and Leslie, 12 –  was diagnosed with the allergy believed to affect just 50 to 100 people worldwide.

Sadie who constantly carries two EpiPens – auto injectors used for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions – said:  “At times, it feels like someone is pouring gasoline on my body and setting me on fire and it itches.

“I always get a reaction when I shower or wash my hands, or even cry or



sweat.

“It will hurt so much that I will start crying and that makes it worse because I’m allergic to my own tears which stresses me out.

“I try to avoid getting water on my face or neck because I don’t want to go into anaphylactic shock. I have EpiPens but it’s terrifying.”

Until mid-2021, Sadie had no issues with water and loved going swimming and paddling at the beach – and was able to exercise normally.

Then suddenly, in late 2021, she started to notice her skin burning up all over her body after she showered and was left in a state of confusion.

And when she was finally told she was allergic to water, in May 2022, she didn’t think it was real.

Amber said: “It’s really heart-breaking as a parent knowing there is nothing you can do.

“She comes out the shower bright red and crying, and I have to try not to cry or she’ll cry even more.

“We live in a very hot and humid area, and there are heatwaves, so it gets pretty intense and I’m so worried.”

She added: “When winter comes, I love dragging my children out into the snow but we can’t even do that.

“I am just hoping more research is done, just to make sure she can live a full life, doing all the things she wants to.”

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